Letters to the Editor

Letter: Suicide prevention awareness

Our work is not yet done. Let’s promote hope and connectedness. September marks Suicide Prevention Month. Recent national polls indicate that 94% of adults believe suicide can be prevented. Unfortunately, we continue to see dramatic increases in the number of youth who need care. The latest stats are sobering:

• Almost 48,000 people died by suicide in 2021.

• That’s one death every 11 minutes; and

• 12 million adults thought about suicide, and more than 3 million made a plan.

Suicide is preventable. We are listening.

As a behavioral health care provider right here in the greater Anchorage area, our team at North Star Behavioral Health and the Chris Kyle Patriot Hospital is dedicated to be there for those who need us during Suicide Prevention Month 2023 in a manner that promotes connectedness and recovery. Culturally relevant mental health services, evidence-based treatments and support are available. We are listening — and we can help.

If you or someone you love is experiencing an emotional crisis or thoughts of suicide, 24/7 assessments are available by contacting us directly or you may contact:


• 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that provides 24/7, no-cost and confidential support for individuals in distress, including prevention and crisis resources. Text, chat or call today. Trained crisis counselors are ready to serve.

• The Veterans Crisis Line for U.S. Military Veterans, call 988, press 1

• Trevor Lifeline, the only national 24/7 lifeline for LGBTQ youth, at 1-866-4887386.

We want our community to know we are in this together, and each of us has a role to play in suicide prevention throughout the year and especially in September.

— Ross Newcombe

Chief Executive Officer, North Star Behavioral Health Systems


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