Local support group offers suicide prevention resources

Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 1:42 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Suicide can be a difficult topic to discuss, which makes it all the more important to realize that hope and help are available. The Arctic Resource Center for Suicide Prevention (ARCSP) is doing its part to be there for those hard discussions.

For the past 9 years the center has run a support group for those who have lost someone to suicide. They meet the first Tuesday of the month at the First Presbyterian Church in Fairbanks.

“People who have lost someone to suicide are about six times more likely to die by suicide themselves,” Dr. James Wisland, the founder of ARCSP, pointed out. “And so helping people recover from a suicide loss is a very critical preventative concern.”

Wisland also said the Resource Center also offers one of the best suicide prevention libraries in the state of Alaska, with titles from both modern and ancient authors.

“Some of the more ancient stories that deal with life and death,” he elaborated, “sometimes that really provides a kind of stability for these folks whose world has been turned upside down after a suicide loss. When folks learn that people have been struggling with this issue for not just the last fifty years but for the last three or four millennium, it provides kind of that stable platform for them.”

Isolation is often a large factor in suicidal tendencies, often simply because of the stigma of talking about depression and mental health. Simply reaching out and breaking that isolation, through support groups or other forms of community, can be what saves a life.

“Being a neighbor, reaching out to someone close by and trying to be friendly to people, that’s not only a relationship maker, that can be a lifesaving kind of thing,” Wisland said.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can also dial the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8.

More information can be found on the ARCSP’s website at https://www.arcsp.org/.