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Final statewide suicide prevention plan released

Plan details five-year strategy, 2012–2017

ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s Statewide Suicide Prevention Council released its new statewide suicide prevention plan, Casting the Net Upstream: Promoting Wellness to Prevent Suicide in Alaska, this week.

The plan is a call to action that stresses each Alaskan has a role to play in preventing suicide. It also marks a shift from intervention to prevention — not just how best to reach out to people in crisis, but how best to keep people from reaching a point of crisis.

 “This plan is the first to have specific measurable components. It will allow us to issue scorecards and map our progress,” said Kate Burkhart, executive director of the council. “I thank Alaskans for sharing their experiences and suggestions with us. Hearing from hundreds of survivors, youth, elders, and health and prevention professionals allowed us to pinpoint our collective goals.”

The 2012–2017 plan was developed with input from meetings held across the state. A public comment period was held Oct. 25–Nov. 30, 2011. The plan’s goals are:

  • Alaskans accept responsibility for preventing suicide.
  • Alaskans effectively and appropriately respond to people at risk of suicide
  • Alaskans communicate, cooperate and coordinate suicide prevention efforts.
  • Alaskans have immediate access to prevention, treatment and recovery services.
  • Alaskans support survivors in healing.

Quality data and research is available and used for planning, implementation and evaluation of suicide prevention efforts.

The plan lists a set of specific strategies for accomplishing each goal.

The plan is posted on the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council’s website, www.hss.state.ak.us/suicideprevention; and the state suicide prevention portal, www.StopSuicideAlaska.org.

The Statewide Suicide Prevention Council is charged with broadening awareness of suicide and risk and protective factors involved in suicide; enhancing suicide prevention service and programs; and improving Alaskans’ overall wellness by assisting in efforts to reduce suicide. State statute requires the council to develop and update five-year prevention plans.

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