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Suicide prevention task force to meet in Juneau

Posted: May 23, 2011 - 8:55pm

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program will host the “1 is 2 Many” Southeast Alaska regional suicide prevention task force in its annual meeting this week in Juneau.

It will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at the Vocational Training and Resource Center, 3239 Hospital Drive. It was started in January 2010 to develop a regional suicide prevention plan that representatives could take back to the local communities and has representatives from schools, health organizations, law enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, clergy, tribal leaders and other community leaders from throughout the region.

Suicide is a major concern for Alaska Natives and Native Americans in rural Alaska, especially since suicide takes a disproportionately heavier toll on Indian Country than it does on the rest of the United States.

The “Every Mile Is Worth It” 5K fun run (with a maze) takes place at 9 a.m. on Saturday on the Treadwell Trails. There also is a one-mile run/walk with meet-up at 8:30 a.m. at the Sandy Beach shelter in Douglas. Entry fees are $1 for children age 13-younger, $5 for children ages 14-19, and $10 for adults ($12 for adult day-of-race registration). Proceeds benefit the new Youth Ambassador suicide prevention program that starts in August. Running hats will be available for the first 75 entrants. There will be door prizes, hamburgers, hot dogs and Gatorade after the race, when Bill Martin will discuss the task force’s work. For more information about the race and the meeting, contact Megan Gregory at 463-6645 or megan.gregory@searhc.org, or contact Paul DeSloover with Southeast Road Runners (about the race only) at pdesloover@yahoo.com.

Tléil Ayeelaxàajeekl (Don’t despair). If you are stressed out and need help, the 24/7 toll-free SEARHC Help Line, 1-877-294-0074, is available for use by any Southeast Alaska resident who might need help working through a crisis. The help line is staffed by a team of master’s-degree-level mental health therapists who will listen and provide effective, compassionate and confidential care.

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