GCI announces landmark donation of $100,000 for suicide prevention efforts in Alaska

October 5, 2016

Nine suicide prevention groups to receive funding through GCI Suicide Prevention Fund 

Anchorage, Alaska General Communication Inc. (GCI), in partnership with the Alaska Community Foundation (ACF), today announced $100,000 will be awarded to nine organizations to support suicide prevention and promote mental wellness in Alaska. The organizations will receive grants from the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund, a grant program developed to help reduce Alaska’s suicide rate, the highest in the nation. 

“With a rate twice the national average, suicide in Alaska has a devastating effect on our employees, their families, and communities across the state,” said Paul Landes, GCI senior vice president of consumer services. “We launched the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund as a way to provide funding for promising new programs and to help successful, established programs reach even more people.” 

More than 40 organizations expressed interest in the initial application process, managed by The Alaska Community Foundation. After a competitive review process, nine programs were awarded grants, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. Selected programs include a wide range of prevention strategies across the state, from teaching traditional crafts to at-risk youth to expanding mental health initiatives from high schools to middle schools. Recipients include: 

AK Child & Family                                                       
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium                
Covenant House Alaska                                                              
Juneau Youth Services                                                
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                              
Native Village of Paimiut                                              
Native Village of Tununak                                          
Perseverance Theater, Inc.                                        
Wellspring Revival Ministries

Grant awards represent a mix of small and large organizations from across the Alaska and include a broad range of target audiences and tactics.

 “Because the rate of suicide is unusually high in Alaska, we wanted to make sure that innovative, community-based programs were considered along with nationally recognized initiatives,” said Landes. “We are looking forward to following the progress as programs grown and develop over the next year.” 

During National Suicide Prevention month in September, GCI provided free suicide prevention training to employees, promoted suicide prevention messaging on its social media platforms and has featured suicide prevention public services announcements more than 2,700 times on cable television channels across Alaska.

 In 2015, GCI supported the Anchorage Rotary Suicide Prevention Project. The award-winning public awareness campaign moved the company to further its work in supporting suicide prevention in Alaska, resulting in this year’s grant program. 

 About GCI

GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with additional locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.

About The Alaska Community Foundation

Established in 1995, The Alaska Community Foundation is a statewide platform for philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter. Holding approximately $75 million in more than 370 funds for the benefit of Alaskans, ACF grants $3-4 million each year to charitable projects and nonprofit organizations across the state. Our mission is to transform gifts from Alaskans into extraordinary contributions for our state’s future. For more information, visit www.alaskacf.org or call (907) 334-6700.

Media contact:

Heather Handyside
hhandyside@gci.com, (907) 301-3481

Alexandra Becker
Donor Relations & Communications Specialist
The Alaska Community Foundation
abecker@alaskacf.org, (907) 249-6614