ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It's a tragic problem that takes the lives of Alaskans each year. Our state suffers the highest suicide rate in the nation. To try and find a solution and to strengthen suicide prevention programs, federal agencies and tribal organizations sponsored a 3-day summit, starting on Tuesday at the Hilton Hotel in Anchorage.
The Alaska Area Action Summit for Suicide Prevention is the result of 10 regional listening sessions held across the country.
Megan Gregory knows more than anyone that suicide prevention starts with her generation. On Wednesday, she told summit participants about the Southeast Alaska Youth Ambassador Program which she launched in August to give kids the support they need from their peers.
There are currently six youth ambassadors. Gregory hopes to expand that to all southeast communities, and eventually the whole state.
“It's a known fact that youth turn to their peers more than adults,” said Gregory. “Our youth are struggling because I feel that they are isolated in these areas, and they don't have much opportunity.”