September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is a major public health concern and a leading cause of death in the U.S.
Suicide is one of the most heart-wrenching subjects to talk about. Here in Alaska, all too often our neighbors and loved ones are impacted by it.
On average, a fellow Alaskan dies by suicide every 48 hours. For more than six years, Alaska has held one of the highest rates of suicide per capita in the nation. It is the sixth leading cause of death in our state, and for our young people ages 10 to 24, it’s the first leading cause of death. These are statistics we cannot be proud of — but what can we do make positive change happen in our state?
Join NDAC on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Wood Center's Arctic Java for a memorial for loved ones lost and to learn more about what you can do to take a stand. Together, Nanooks can create an environment of health, safety, support and kindness! Come see the amazing "Seize the Awkward" Suicide Prevention Campaign posters hanging up in Arctic Java. (https://seizetheawkward.org/)
More things you can do:
Spread the message
Throughout Suicide Prevention Month, it’s extremely important to spread awareness, take time to reach out to those in need and help people understand the severity of this cause. How? Hand out Suicide Prevention pins, start a campaign, and share stories of hope on social media.
Volunteer at a crisis center
Provide support by volunteering at a crisis center in your area. Although this is something that can be done year-round, Suicide Prevention Month is the perfect time to get started. Check out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, an organization that offers free and confidential emotional support 24/7 to those in crisis or emotional distress.
Record a supportive video
This is an easy option that doesn’t cost money or time, so anyone can do it. Simply record a 15-30 second video promising your friends to listen to anything they need to say. Then, use the hashtags #suicideispreventable #Seizetheawkward #988 #LETITOUT.
If you or a loved one need to talk with someone for support, please use the resources below:
For Emergency Assistance, please dial 911.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States. (https://988lifeline.org/)
CARELINE (IN ALASKA): is free and confidential. Careline treats callers with respect and listens without judgment. Call anytime, toll-free:1-877-266-4357 (HELP) or text 4help to 839863 (https://carelinealaska.com/). Contact them if:
- You are in crisis.
- You are a survivor (of an attempt, or if you lost someone to suicide).
- You are grieving.
- You are concerned about someone.
- You are feeling down and need someone to talk to.
UAF Counseling Services and Medical Services
Whitaker Building 2nd floor
1007 N. Chandalar Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
For more information on how to get involved with NDAC or for more resources, please contact Julia Aikman, prevention and wellness coordinator, at Jeaikman@alaska.edu or 907-474-6368.
(Statistics provided by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, afsp.org)