Tlingit & Haida awarded $3 million for suicide prevention

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) has received a $3 million grant to help with suicide prevention.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded the three-year grant to the Tribe’s Community & Behavioral Services (CBS) Division.

The grant will provide $1 million a year for the next three years to help Tlingit & Haida focus on a Cooperative Agreement project with Careline Alaska, the 988 National Suicide Crisis Hotline.

Funding from the grant enables Tlingit & Haida to expand services outside of Alaska to serve our tribal citizens who are seeking care across the United States. It will allow staff to train crisis service providers, including the 988 Careline of Alaska, to work with tribal citizens in culturally appropriate and effective practices.

Alaska Native people experience the highest rates of suicide in the country and the need for quality, culturally affirming care is vital.

“We know there’s a lack of resources when it comes to mental health, especially in Alaska,” said CBS Clinical Operations Director Jessica Jones. “This grant funding is essential because it allows us to expand our reach and equip more providers to assist our tribal citizens who may be struggling with mental health needs and thoughts of suicide. We want our tribal citizens to have easy access to any care they need, and for all providers to understand the tribal values we live by in our CBS Healing Center.”

Altogether, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through SAMHSA, awarded more than $232 million in grants for suicide prevention and behavioral health care for at-risk communities, including more than $200 million in new funding for states, territories, and tribal nations to build local capacity for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline services.