November 9, 2020
Hanson encourages Alaskans to check in on loved ones’ mental health
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – As the days become shorter, nights grow colder and a global pandemic keeps Alaskans in their homes more than ever, it’s vitally important to check in on friends and loved ones. Eskimo Ninja Warrior Nick Hanson is featured in a new suicide prevention campaign emphasizing the importance of the “Just ASK” initiative, produced by GCI. The campaign aims to raise mental health awareness and help combat suicide in Alaska.
“’How’s it going?’ That phrase means more than hello, but we usually don’t listen for a real response. And, as Alaskans, the last thing we need is more distance between us. Alaska’s suicide rate is almost double the Lower 48 – and is even worse in the villages,” said Hanson, who calls the small Norton Sound community of Unalakleet home. “With GCI’s help, I’m hoping to change that. But this problem is bigger than me and its bigger than GCI. To stop suicides, we all have to play our part. Reach out to someone you care about; ask them how they’re doing and listen."
Slowing the suicide rate in Alaska could be as simple as talking to someone you care about. The “Just ASK” initiative encourages three actions:
- Ask if they are thinking about ending their life
- Share that you care
- Keep them company and connect them to the Careline
Careline can be reached at 800-266-4357 (HELP) or online at CarelineAlaska.com. If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 immediately.
“GCI is in the business of connecting Alaskans. As we head into dark winter days, after months of COVID precautions, we want to make certain we all continue to take care of each other,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker, one of the founders of the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund. “Through partnerships with strong local Alaskan leaders and initiatives, like this ‘Just ASK’ campaign, GCI strives to make an impact in the battle to prevent suicide in Alaska.”
The GCI Suicide Prevention Fund contributes to vital suicide prevention efforts with an emphasis on organizations that serve small, rural communities that might sometimes be overlooked, as well as larger programs that reach Alaskans in bigger cities. Over the last five years, GCI has given more than $470,000 through the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund to local organizations for suicide prevention efforts.
For more information about the ‘Just ASK’ initiative and the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund, visit https://www.gci.com/why-gci/gcigives/gci-suicide-prevention-fund.
GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested substantially more than $3 billion in its Alaska network and facilities. Most recently, GCI launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area.
Headquartered in Alaska, GCI has delivered services for more than 40 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. GCI employs nearly 2,000 Alaskans. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of GCI Liberty, Inc. (Nasdaq: GLIBA, GLIBP). Learn more about GCI Liberty at www.gciliberty.com.