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Casting the Net Upstream

Casting the Net Upstream: Promoting Wellness to Prevent Suicide in Alaska was developed by the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council and hundreds of Alaskans. This is a uniquely Alaskan endeavor, though is aligned with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the American Indian and Alaska Native National Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan (2011-2015).  It is based on extensive public input and stakeholder efforts to create a suicide prevention plan that responds to the unique needs of our communities and benefits from the creativity and culture of Alaska’s people.

This is a call to action.

Specific strategies have been identified to achieve the goals and objectives of the suicide prevention system. These strategies were developed from the wisdom and experience of Alaskans all over our state. They are based on the most current and credible data and research available. These strategies are ways that individuals, communities, and the State of Alaska can act together to prevent suicide.

Casting the Net Upstream is organized to reflect the most current research and understanding of the “web of causality” of suicide. Suicidal behavior results from a combination of genetic, developmental, environmental, physiological, psychological, social, and cultural factors operating in complex, and often unseen, ways.  Human beings are innately resilient but the events and experiences of a lifetime can weaken that resiliency to a point when a person becomes at risk of suicide. 

We need to mend the net of services and supports in place to prevent suicide. Casting the Net Upstream encourages Alaskans to cast that net in a way that promotes physical, emotional, and mental wellness and strengthens personal and community resilience – to prevent suicide by promoting the health of our people, families, and communities.

It starts with Wellness Promotion, the overall health and environmental condition that can increase or decrease the risk of suicide. The next layer is Suicide Prevention, universal efforts to improve awareness and understanding about suicide among all Alaskans.  Then there is Crisis Intervention, the services and supports provided to a person who is experiencing a mental or emotional crisis that creates a serious risk of suicide. Finally, there is Postvention. This is a term that includes the ways that we respond after a suicide occurs to prevent further loss, and how we support survivors of a loss to suicide as they grieve and heal. The Council calls for postvention in Alaska to include how we support the person who survives an attempted suicide and his or her family and community in preventing further attempts.

Casting the Net Upstream is organized to make it easy to see who can act and how. There are six (6) goals. More information about each of the goals is provided on each Goal page. There you will learn about the specific strategies that individuals and families can use to reach these goals. You will also learn what practices communities and organizations can adopt in prevention efforts, and how the State of Alaska can improve the effectiveness of suicide prevention system.

You’ve already taken action. The foundation of Casting the Net Upstream is Goal 1:  Alaskans Accept Responsibility for Preventing Suicide. By visiting and learning how you can support the six goals of Casting the Net Upstream, you are doing something to help prevent suicide. Click on each Goal below, or in the drop down menu above, to learn more.