Suicide, particularly youth suicide is one of those ugly sides to our state’s statistics. Of course we know that suicide is far more than a statistic. It impacts our families, it impacts our communities, and in certain parts of Alaska, youth suicide has been devastating.
On October 22nd, at the AFN Convention, I will be conducting a field hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to really delve into more of the issues surrounding youth suicide, some of the connections that we know to be at play, whether it’s depression, whether it’s witnessing acts of violence within the home, whether it is lack of support. The many things that may go into a young person’s thought process as they are struggling.
So this will be an opportunity at the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hear, not only from the experts, but from those that have been impacted by suicide in their region. That hearing will be followed by a vision dialogue where we hope to bring in young people, community members, so many that have been impacted to hear their ideas, to hear how we can make a difference, how we can bring more encouragement and more positive view to an issue that has unfortunately devastated far too many of our communities and far too many of our young Alaska Native men. So I look forward to learning more, sharing more as we work on this very difficult issue. We will be doing this at AFN in Anchorage on October 22nd.
-Senator Lisa Murkowski
- WHO: U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
- Confirmed Witnesses:
Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.
Richard McKeon, PH.D Chief for the Suicide Prevention Branch in the Center for Mental Health Services, of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, D.C.
Evon Peter, Director, Maniilaq Wellness Program, Kotzebue, AK
- WHAT: Senate Indian Affairs Committee Field Hearing: Suicide Epidemic Among Native Youth
- WHEN: Saturday, October 22, 2011 — 1:00 P.M.
- WHERE: Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage