Goal 6: Quality Data and Research is Available and Used for Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Suicide Prevention Efforts

Goal 6

Goal 6

 

While we know there are many factors that can lead someone to consider suicide, the field of suicide research is still developing. Add to that Alaska's significant indigenous population, ethnically diverse overall population, unique geography, weather patterns and frequent natural disasters, historic and personal trauma, and many other “Alaskan” characteristics (positive and negative). There is much we do not know (or do not know we know) about suicide and protecting our people from it.

Alaska is home to a high-quality university system with access to researchers, such as those at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, with experience working with Alaskans and Alaskan issues. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s and the State of Alaska’s epidemiology programs are robust. However, because Alaska has many pressing health concerns, suicide is not always a priority for funding and resources.

Alaska’s institutions and universities should build on the work already being done with Alaskan communities to improve the science related to suicide and understanding of the issue. Research and study must comply with rigorous protections for the people involved, and must be conducted and used in a way that benefits all Alaskans.