A two-hour Canoe Healing-Journeys was offered for suicide loss and attempt survivors in recognition of International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, hosted by Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition and partners on Saturday, Sept.10 at Sandy Beach. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

A two-hour Canoe Healing-Journeys was offered for suicide loss and attempt survivors in recognition of International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, hosted by Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition and partners on Saturday, Sept.10 at Sandy Beach. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition recognizes International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

Community barbecue and canoe rides at Sandy Beach.

This article contains references to suicide.

In recognition of International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition and partners on Saturday hosted a community barbecue at Sandy Beach.

The event featured the Yees Ku.oo dancers traditional games and resources and information available centered around suicide prevention. There was also a two-hour Canoe Healing-Journeys offered for suicide loss and attempt survivors.

“The healing canoe rides were reserved for suicide lost and attempt survivors and that’s being offered by One People Canoe Society,” said Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator Tina DeAsis-Samaniego. “We asked for an early registration just to make sure that the survivors were able to get on, but if there are any others for any grief related reasons, just to be out on the water, that for many people can be such a healing time.”

According to DeAsis-Samaniego, for every death by suicide, it is estimated 20 more people have attempted suicide. On average, 10.3% of Americans have thought about suicide and 54% of Americans have been affected by suicide. DeAsis-Samaniego said that in 2020, Alaska ranked second highest for the number of suicide deaths per capita and was over twice the national average.

Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness Juneau Aaron Surama said the event was meant to be an opportunity for people to not just experience a sense of community but also learn more about the resources that are available to help prevent suicide.

“We really want to deliver the message that people can support suicide prevention, it’s not just like we need this service or place to prevent suicide, that us feeling connected to one another and feeling comfortable talking about difficult topics is suicide prevention, so any person can play a critical role in someone else’s life,” Surama said.

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling, texting or chatting 988. Careline, Alaska’s suicide prevention network, can be reached by calling 877-266-4357 or by texting “4help” to 839863 3-11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

The healing canoe rides offered on Saturday, Sept. 10 were reserved for suicide lost and attempt survivors and were offered by One People Canoe Society. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

The healing canoe rides offered on Saturday, Sept. 10 were reserved for suicide lost and attempt survivors and were offered by One People Canoe Society. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Melissa McCormick of Find Your Fire and Claire Suzanne Geldhof with Section of Public Health Nursing were just some of the many partners who came together with Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition to help recognize International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Melissa McCormick of Find Your Fire and Claire Suzanne Geldhof with Section of Public Health Nursing were just some of the many partners who came together with Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition to help recognize International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Juneau hosted a Community BBQ at Sandy Beach on Saturday, Sept. 10. in recognition of International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Juneau hosted a Community BBQ at Sandy Beach on Saturday, Sept. 10. in recognition of International Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Many were in attendance for the Community BBQ at Sandy Beach on Saturday, Sept. 10, hosted by Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition. The event featured Native Youth Olympics, a Native Dance group, as well as resources & information for suicide prevention. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

Many were in attendance for the Community BBQ at Sandy Beach on Saturday, Sept. 10, hosted by Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition. The event featured Native Youth Olympics, a Native Dance group, as well as resources & information for suicide prevention. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)

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