Alaska’s suicide rate is more than twice the national average. That number is even higher in rural areas. 

To help Alaskans access the resources needed to combat this epidemic, GCI partnered with the Alaska Community Foundation to establish the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund in 2017. The GCI Suicide Prevention Fund supports projects and organizations whose goal is to reduce the rates of suicide in Alaska and promote mental wellness through strengthened community and personal connections.  

Alaska Community Foundation Logo

With the help of ACF, GCI selected nine recipients of the $100,000 Suicide Fund in 2017, programs that encompassed school, community, training and cultural programs. This grant is one of the largest issue-based contributions GCI has ever made. Due to its success in 2017, GCI continued the program into 2019, contributing another $100,000 to the cause.

2019 Suicide Prevention Fund Grant Recipients
With the help of ACF, GCI awarded grants to the following 10 recipients this year:

Maniilaq Association - We Need You Suicide Prevention Campaign
Fairbanks North Star Borough School District - Mega Mental Wellness Boost!
Youth Advocates of Sitka, Inc - Sources of Strength
Kokhanok Village Council - Kokhanok Suicide Prevention Project
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District - Connecting Our Sources of Strength
Northwest Arctic Borough - Selawik Wellness Program
Perseverance Theatre, Inc - The Winter Bear
Paws for Purple Hearts - Operation Paws for Purple Hearts, Suicide Prevention Assistance
Native Village of Kotzebue - Kotzebue Teen Suicide Prevention

2018 Suicide Prevention Fund Grant Recipients
With the help of ACF, GCI awarded grants to the following 10 recipients this year:

Anchorage School District – suicide prevention training for 36 secondary teachers
Bethel Community Services Foundation, Inc. – support for the Healing through Music and Dance program to serve up to 2,000 people in Bethel and surrounding communities
City of Newhalen – delivery of an eight-week training based in Yup’ik culture, designed to prevent youth alcohol use and suicide through building resilience in the community 
Juneau Youth Services – support to build on the success of the Suicide Prevention Coalition
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District – support for program training for 300 students and 100 adults in Sources of Strength, a school-based program in middle school, high school or college, and also often used in community and cultural settings; it promotes and focuses on connectivity, school bonding, peer-adult partnerships, and help-seeking behaviors.
Maniilaq Association – funding for facilitated community conversations about youth suicide based in cultural norms, including training for over 300 people in the entire Northwest Arctic Borough and Point Hope
MyHouse – support for suicide prevention community awareness efforts in the Mat-Su Borough at this homeless youth drop-in center in Wasilla
Native Village of Chuathbaluk – presentation of three well-established suicide prevention techniques: SafeTALK, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training  (ASIST) and QPR – to involve the entire community
Nome Community Center – ASIST program support, workshop for the Nome community and attendance for two at a SafeTALK Training for Trainers workshop to increase community capacity to deliver this training the Nome area
Native Village of Unalakleet – expansion of Unalakleet’s annual Humpy Fishing Derby to include expanded opportunities for intergeneration connection and traditional community activities to foster an understanding of youths’ value within the community

AK Child & Family - Youth Suicide Prevention through Mental Wellness

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) - Native Ways of Knowing Craft Group

Covenant House and Southcentral Foundation - Building the Denaa Yeets' program

Juneau Youth Services - Sources of Strength

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District – Sources of Strength

Native Village of Paimiut – Beauty from Ashes workshop

Native Village of Tununak - Tununak Suicide Prevention Project

Perseverance Theatre - Touring Production of "The Winter Bear" (Kenai and Anchorage)

Wellspring Revival Ministries – Sources of Strength (Fairbanks)

GCI Suicide Prevention: Kenai Peninsula Borough School District 

With support from the GCI Suicide Prevention Fund, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District launched an initiative to raise student awareness about suicide prevention strategies through “Sources of Strength,” the nationally-recognized youth suicide prevention program.

For more information or to add to the fund:
info@alaskacf.org | (907) 334-6700 | www.alaskacf.org