Join us during September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month activities

August 26, 2019

At ANTHC we understand the difficulties of losing someone to suicide and urgency to provide support. Our Suicide Prevention Program collaborates with community partners and Tribal health organizations within the Alaska Tribal Health System to provide evidence-based education and training about suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This year, ANTHC is participating in a number of awareness events throughout the month to help foster conversations about suicide and raise awareness. Please take our anonymous survey to help our suicide prevention efforts.

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority 25th anniversary celebration

Friday, Sept. 6 – 4-7 p.m. 

Anchorage Museum, 625 C Street, Anchorage

ANTHC Suicide Prevention Program will have an informational booth at the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority’s 25th anniversary celebration. Join us on the front lawn of the Anchorage Museum for food, entertainment, partner booths and activities. The event is free and open to the public!

Out of Darkness Walk

Saturday, Sept. 14 – 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Chuck Albrecht Ball Fields, 4781 Elmore Road, Anchorage

ANTHC is partnering with Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association to form a team for the Out of Darkness Walk. The Out of the Darkness Walks raises awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Go here to join the team or donate.

Tell Your Heart Story activity tables at Patient Housing at ANMC

Weekly – 2-4 p.m.

Patient Housing at ANMC, 4001 Tudor Centre Drive, Anchorage

Weekly tabling events will allow our Alaska Native people to share their heart stories and connect with our ANTHC Suicide Prevention Program through various activities. The NATIONAL Crisis Response Canines will be present Sept. 5 and 12.

Sept. 5 – Hand Art: Our hands identify our individuality and each person has an individual art style that they use in different ways. Celebrate your individuality and create a piece of art to share with the world!

Sept. 12 – Grounding: Grounding techniques are helpful steps to take when someone is experiencing a crisis and can help lower the impacts of stress on the body and mind. This activity will use the mindfulness of breath to practice being in the present moment and relax your body and mind.

Sept. 19 – Heart Messaging: Share your own message or story.

Sept. 26 – Beading: This beading activity is therapeutic in nature and connectedness to culture.

Warning signs of suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • The more signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes suicide.

What to do if someone you know exhibits warning signs:

  • Stay with them, do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
  • If you need immediate intervention or someone you know is in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone you trust, call 911 or call the Alaska Careline at 1-877-266-4357. The Alaska Careline Crisis line is here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and your calls are free and completely confidential. You can also visit

ANTHC also works with communities to reduce shame and stigma through our message campaign, Tell Your Heart Story. Check out ANTHC’s social media pages to learn about the Tell Your Heart Story photo contest or visit the contest page, here. View and share the Tell Your Heart Story public service announcement on YouTube at Use the hashtag #CultureHeals to help share the reasons you enjoy life!

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the Alaska Careline offers free, immediate and confidential help at 1-877-266-4357. Text 4help to 839863 from 3-11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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