Suicide prevention strategies among Alaska Native youth

January 30, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Alaska

Native Times

To help prevent youth suicide in remote Alaska Native communities, a new project called PC-CARES (Professional-Community Collaborations for At-risk youth Engagement and Support) will focus on communication and collaboration. Lisa Wexler, who is leading the project and is an associate professor of community health education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, described the project: “PC-CARES creates a process where local people, service providers, parents and other community members can share stories and information so that people are reaching out to others more often in their everyday lives, noticing people that might be vulnerable and figuring out ways to support them.” The Manilaq Association of Kotzebue is also participating in the project, which will build on understandings that already exist in the community. “Really, it’s less delivering the training than it is facilitating a conversation,” said Wexler. PC-CARES includes a robust evaluation component, to track the growth of formal and informal support networks and to show whether service use increases in the study area.

Spark Extra: Visit Sharing Our Wisdom, where SPRC brings together stories of American Indian/Alaska Native approaches to suicide prevention.