GCI Suicide Prevention Grant to fund 10 programs statewide

The 2018 GCI Suicide Prevention Grant, administered by the Alaska Community Foundation, will distribute over $130,000 to 10 recipient organizations this year, funding programs that are contributing to necessary suicide prevention efforts across Alaska. GCI continued the program after the success of its 2017 Suicide Prevention Grant.

“With one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, Alaskans need to come together to build healthy communities and prevent suicide,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “When GCI launched our first Suicide Grant Program in 2017 with a $100,000 donation, we weren’t sure what to expect, but we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. The grantees are implementing programs that reached Alaskans of all ages and demographics. We look forward to making an even more meaningful impact in this second round of grant funding.”

With the help of ACF, GCI awarded grants to the following 10 recipients this year:

Anchorage School District – suicide prevention training for 36 secondary teachers

Bethel Community Services Foundation, Inc. – support for the Healing through Music and Dance program to serve up to 2,000 people in Bethel and surrounding communities

City of Newhalen – delivery of an eight-week training based in Yup’ik culture, designed to prevent youth alcohol use and suicide through building resilience in the community

Juneau Youth Services – support to build on the success of the Suicide Prevention Coalition

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District – support for program training for 300 students and 100 adults in Sources of Strength, a school-based program in middle school, high school or college, and also often used in community and cultural settings; it promotes and focuses on connectivity, school bonding, peer-adult partnerships, and help-seeking behaviors

Maniilaq Association – funding for facilitated community conversations about youth suicide based in cultural norms, including training for over 300 people in the entire Northwest Arctic Borough and Point Hope

My House – support for suicide prevention community awareness efforts in the Mat-Su Borough at this homeless youth drop-in center in Wasilla

Native Village of Chuathbaluk – presentation of three well-established suicide prevention techniques: SafeTALK, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training  (ASIST) and QPR – to involve the entire community

Nome Community Center – ASIST program support, workshop for the Nome community and attendance for two at a SafeTALK Training for Trainers workshop to increase community capacity to deliver this training the Nome area

Native Village of Unalakleet – expansion of Unalakleet’s annual Humpy Fishing Derby to include expanded opportunities for intergeneration connection and traditional community activities to foster an understanding of youths’ value within the community

The grant recipients demonstrated suicide prevention strategies that are best practices or customized to address the specific needs of their communities. GCI, with the help of ACF, solicited and evaluated applications. GCI will continue to rely on ACF as grant administrator.

“We received many applications for this fund and these 10 programs had clear strategies in how to reach and serve the people in their communities, “ said Nina Kemppel, president and CEO of ACF. “We ended up increasing the grant funding because we were so impressed with these suicide prevention programs and look forward to seeing the impact across the state.”

Since the Suicide Prevention Grant’s inception, GCI has donated more than $200,000 to the cause.