Senator Berta Gardner

September 4, 2015

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Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed

716 W. 4th Ave Suite 411.
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: 907-269-0174
Call Me: 1-800-331-4930

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Governor Bill Walker
Anchorage Office
550 W. 7th Ave, Ste 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-7450

Lt. Governor Byron Mallott
Anchorage Office
550 W. 7th Ave, Ste 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-7460

Suicide Prevention Week, September 7 - 13, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

41st Annual Suicide Prevention Week September 7 - 13, 2015
41st Annual Suicide Prevention Week September 7 - 13, 2015

As a member of the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, I am painfully aware of the terrible statistics surrounding suicide in areas all over Alaska, from the urban center of Anchorage to the far-flung rural villages that experience devastatingly high rates of suicide per capita.  In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Alaska Natives between the ages of 15 and 34 years.

These statistics are tragic, and unacceptable, which is why I applaud Governor Bill Walker for recently proclaiming September 7th through 13th as Suicide Prevention Week. Governor Walker encourages people who are struggling with depression or substance abuse to seek treatment, as this problem is far too significant to ignore.

In his proclamation, Governor Walker informs us that risk factors for suicide can include a previous suicide attempt, substance abuse, feelings of hopelessness or isolation, access to lethal means, physical or sexual abuse, history of mental health disorders like clinical depression, lack of access to mental health treatment services, chronic pain or serious physical illness, or incarceration.  And survivors of a loss to suicide need support and understanding as they grieve the loss of a loved one.

Help is available to Alaskans thinking of suicide or grieving the loss of someone to suicide:  call the Alaska Careline at 1-877-266-HELP.  Together we can try to prevent these tragedies, because every Alaskan life is worth saving.

I’m Berta and I’m still listening,

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.

signed: Berta

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