By the Numbers: Addressing Veteran Suicide

In September of 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs released findings from its analysis of Veteran suicide data for 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The findings were based upon a comprehensive examination of more than 55 million records from 1979 to 2014. Among many other things, they found that risk for suicide was 22 percent higher among veterans when compared to U.S. non-veteran adults. We lose a veteran to suicide every 72 minutes, equaling 20 veterans a day.

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Letter to Parents from the Anchorage School District: 13 Reasons Why

In light of the recent release of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, Season 2, questions from staff, families and community members have been raised. The intense, graphic portrayal of difficult issues involving youth present both the risk of triggering harmful behaviors among some vulnerable youth and the opportunity for adults to engage in meaningful and supportive discussions with youth about these issues.

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Student Leadership Summit: Lifetouch brings J.C. Pohl and Teen Truth to Alaska

Everyone wanted to know why Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down 13 people and injured 24 more after the Columbine shooting in 1999. Experts spoke at length about why it

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Warning Signs

It has been said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Like a lot of Alaska superlatives, the high rate of Alaska suicides was impressed upon some of us growing up in high-risk social circumstances. We were told by teachers and counselors that many people in Alaska have “issues” that could be so profound as to cause them to want to harm themselves. It wasn’t as much of a concern when I was in elementary and junior high school in Anchorage, but when my family moved to the bush, we found the reality of suicide in Alaska was not being exaggerated. It is a longstanding serious problem for small communities. Today Alaska maintains one of the highest rates of suicide in the country.

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