Blog entry

Alaska students promote hope during Suicide Prevention Week

High school students across Alaska highlighted Suicide Prevention Week by providing messages of hope to their peers. Numerous schools participated in the Wall of Hope Project the week of September 7-13, where students identify elements of their lives that provide them with hope and share them with their peers on a wall in their school.
 
Each school that participated added different elements to their Wall of Hope that make them unique to their community and student body. Many of the schools had the students identify three things about their lives that provide them with meaning and hope for the future. Each school had a counselor on hand for the project and ensured that safe messaging was adhered to.
 
One high school in Anchorage created a tree trunk with branches and filled in tree leaves with the students’ sources of hope and happiness. “We recently lost a member of our community to suicide, so this activity has been especially powerful,” the school counselor said. “We plan to leave it up for the month.”
 
A high school in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District had a guest speaker from the Wounded Warrior Project that addressed its leadership classes about hope and perseverance. Then the entire school participated in creating a Wall of Hope.
 
Some of the schools that participated in the Wall of Hope Project are recipients of the Department of Education and Early Development’s Suicide Awareness, Prevention, and Postvention Grant. Most recipients of the three-year grant are focusing on serving alternative school students and at-risk students in their grant activities. The DEED and the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council collaborated to promote the Wall of Hope Project.