Our two-fold mission address’ the following issues: physical health/hunger, and mental health/suicide. State funding has been cut so drastically in these areas that it is requiring outside organizations to meet the need. All state funding for suicide prevention goes ONLY to people who do “stats” and not to help the people.
Food: According to the International Arctic Research Center, more than 1/3 of households in the vast Arctic territory of Alaska lack access to safe and healthy food due to climate/weather changes.
Bearded and ringed seals are dependent on the summer and fall sea ice and the snow atop it. Pacific walruses have in recent years crowded the Chukchi Sea shoreline because they can’t find floating sea ice in late summer and fall. These are all candidates for Endangered Species Act protections. And this impacts the spring food harvest for the Alaskan people.
“In the 1980s, we could expect three to five feet of ice in early March,” says Inupiaq elder Austin Swan, 68, who lives in the small community of Kivalina on the north slope of Alaska. “Today [in mid-March], we have open water in some places and very thin sea ice elsewhere. Weeks of minus-40 weather seem to never come, as they did in the 1980s.” He says the decline in sea ice makes it difficult to hunt bearded seals and almost impossible to hunt beluga and bowheads.
According to Harvard Medical School, poor diet is directly related to mental illness’ such as depression, anxiety and more, which can lead to suicide.
More than 90 % of people who die by suicide have depression or another’ diagnosable, treatable mental or substance abuse disorder , according to American Association of Suicidology.
The state of Alaska holds the #1 ranking position in deaths due to suicide reported by American Assoc of Suicidology. Alaska has 22 suicides per 100,000 population. In 2014 alone there were over 167 suicides. This is double the rate of the national average!
According to the State of Alaska Suicide Prevention statistics:
Alaska had 1,525 suicides between 2005 and 2014 – an average of 152.5 deaths by suicide per year.
• In 2014, 82.6% of suicides in Alaska were by men and 17.4% were committed by women, according to the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
• In 2014, the rate of Alaska Native males that died by suicide was 50.9 suicides per 100,000 , nearly four times the national average!
It is very evident that Alaska needs help in both healthy diets, as well as mental health. Our program will distribute health food options as well as equip and empower the communities to overcome suicidal thoughts and tendencies through seminars on-site and via technology and printed resources.