Raising Awareness on Suicide Prevention

Denaa Yeets’ hands out wristbands to show that no one is ever alone.

Southcentral Foundation Denaa Yeets’ hosted the Our Breath of Life Fair in the Anchorage Native Primary Care Center lobby to show awareness for National Suicide Prevention Month during the week of Sept. 10 – 14. Each day, different activities focused on expanding resiliency awareness and education regarding suicide prevention as well as explored the services available in the Native community. Activities included hope boxes, medicine bags, picture frames, gratitude key chains, and different resiliency activities.

How can you help if someone you know is having thoughts of suicide? Connect, listen, and pay attention. Be willing to listen, allow them to express their feelings, and accept them. Avoid being judgmental toward them. Thoughtful words of encouragement are okay, but be cautious not to lecture them on the value of life. If there is anything in the home that may be a threat towards the person, remove the items from the home. Do not promise to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret. Get them connected with services that specialize in mental health.

Denaa Yeets’ provides services to support Alaska Native and American Indian adults who are at risk for suicide or had a family member or friend who committed suicide. They are staffed with behavioral health case managers who connect customer-owners to different services including medication management, therapy, financial aid, housing, and job search assistance.

Some beneficial and important numbers to know if you need assistance include:
Psychiatric Emergency: (907) 563-3200
CARE Line: (877) 266-4357
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)

by Riley Stewman

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