WHEREAS, every Alaskan life is precious, and the State of Alaska is committed to nurturing and cultivating healthy communities and creating opportunities for all Alaskans; and
WHEREAS, Alaska’s suicide rate is twice the national average, impacting both urban and rural Alaskan communities. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Alaska Natives between the ages of 15 and 34 years; and; and
WHEREAS, Alaskan’s experience many of the common risk factors that can lead to suicide, including substance abuse, feelings of hopelessness or isolation, , physical or sexual abuse, and incarceration,; and
WHEREAS, public awareness of this crisis is the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life, and the risk of self-harm can be reduced through awareness, education, support, and access to treatment opportunities.; and
WHEREAS, the State of Alaska is actively working to ensure agencies and personnel are equipped to offer help and support to those in need. The Alaska Statewide Suicide Prevention Council provides outreach and education, and the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health’s Community-Based Suicide Prevention Program supports communities in promoting resilience and training Alaskans in basic prevention techniques; and
WHEREAS, if you think someone needs help, the right thing to do is to ASK: Ask if they are thinking about ending their life; Share that you care; Keep them company until you connect them with Careline Alaska, other suicide prevention resources, or someone they trust.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim September 8-14, 2019 as:
Suicide Prevention Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to take this opportunity to speak up if they know someone who may be contemplating suicide, reach out to those who may be struggling after a loss, and reaffirm their commitment to community, family, and life.