Blog entry

SSPC Releases 2016 Annual Implementation Report

The Statewide Suicide Prevention Council has released its 2016 Annual Implementation Report of the Alaska State Suicide Prevention Plan 2012-2017, “Casting the Net Upstream: Promoting Wellness to Prevent Suicide.”  The report includes the Council’s annual report to the Governor and Legislature as well as a progress report on the 6 goals of the state plan. Suicide prevention training and education, Careline services, supports for survivors of a loss to suicide, and other strategies are highlighted in the report.
Some of the highlights of the report include:
·         Data from the Bureau of Vital Statistics shows that 200 Alaskans died by suicide in 2015, resulting in a statewide suicide rate of 27.1/100,000. Thirty-three more Alaskans died by suicide in 2015 than in 2014. This corresponds with a national increase of 24% in suicide rates between 1999-2014, with significant increases among adults 45-64.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that national suicide rates increased 2% per year from 2006 to 2014.
·         Careline received 15,323 calls – including hang ups and wrong numbers – in 2016, a 13% increase in the number of calls compared to 2015. Of these, 13,851 were answered by trained staff in Fairbanks. The remainder were transferred to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline because Careline staff were already responding to a call.
·         At least 15,202 Alaskans were trained in suicide prevention/intervention in 2016, compared to an estimated 8,714 adults and youth in 2015. Many state, tribal, and community organizations provided suicide prevention trainings in 2016 – more than tripling the number of Alaskans trained in 2014 (est. 5,010 adults and youth).
The Council is grateful for the work of individuals, communities, and the State of Alaska in furthering the goals and strategies of Casting the Net Upstream. While there has been a tremendous amount of progress since Casting the Net Upstream was first published, includinglarge increases in the number of suicide prevention trainings and calls to Careline, it is vital that Alaskans accept responsibility for preventing suicide. There is still a great deal of work ahead for all Alaskans, and the Council is encouraged by the progress made since 2012 and will continue to work toward further progress in the final year of this version of the statewide suicide prevention plan. The Council will be updating the state plan in 2017.
To view the 2016 Annual Implementation Report please visit: