Suicide is preventable through awareness and education

Suicide continues to be a significant issue in Alaska. Suicide has touched many of our lives and can be difficult to talk about, but it’s important to know that suicide is preventable through increased awareness and education. By talking more openly we can reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide which makes it easier for people to get help.

So what can you do? Know the warning signs and risk factors of suicidal behavior and if you’re concerned about someone, take the first steps in suicide prevention – ASK:

  • Ask if they are thinking about ending their life.
  • Share that you care.
  • Keep them company and connect them to Careline or someone they trust.

Risk factors include, but are not limited to, past suicide attempts, isolation, access to means (i.e. is there access to firearms?), or loss of a loved one to suicide. The risk is greater if these factors are new or have increased due to recent changes in a person’s life.

Warning signs:

  • Talks about wanting to die
  • Seeks access to means
  • Talks about hopelessness
  • Talks about being a burden
  • Changes in mood, looks and actions, including drug or alcohol use or sleep amount
  • Withdraws from family, friends or becomes isolated
  • Says goodbye, gives away prized possessions

When we work together we can improve the health and wellness of all Alaskans by reducing suicide and its effect on individuals and communities. If you’d like to learn more about suicide and how it’s prevented, please visit the websites below:
Careline Alaska 1-877-266-HELP (4347)
Veteran’s Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255
The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386
Statewide Suicide Prevention Council
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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