Project Hope is in Siouxland spreading awareness on the impact o - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Project Hope is in Siouxland spreading awareness on the impact of bullying

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WALTHILL, NE (KTIV) -

It's a fun atmosphere with a serious message. Members of the Omaha tribe gathered in Walthill, Nebraska on Wednesday to celebrate life and spread suicide awareness.

"It's a way for us to be able to sit down with the community, both the young community and the adults, and let them know that we are aware of the situations out there," said Project Hope Suicide Prevention Specialist Mike Grant.

Suicide prevention specialists say bullying can be the first trigger to a suicide. That's why Project Hope, a suicide prevention program, is hosting the 'Independence from Bullying' event.

Part of the event is designed to get children to interact together.

"Letting people know that we're definitely there for the community. We are definitely there to combat bullying," said Grant.

No matter what type of bullying it is, verbal, physical or cyber, suicide prevention specialists say it all lowers self-esteem.

"Hence why we are doing our independence from bullying event," said Suicide Prevention Specialist Ricky Sheridan.

Ricky Sheridan knows the affects of bullying first hand.

"I was bullied in my younger ages. It helped to talk to someone older than me that knows a few things," said Sheridan.

And that's what Project Hope is doing.

"It's okay to ask for help," said Sheridan. "Cause there are a lot of people that think 'no one understands me' but we understand you, we know where they're coming from. Get them to think differently. Let them know how important their life is."

The event is free and continues through Wednesday evening with a community dance and fireworks.

Suicide prevention specialists say if you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts or feelings, it's important to tell someone you trust. Or you call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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