In Alaska, suicide is the number one cause of death among youth over the age of 15; the rate being double among young Alaska Natives. Alaska Public Media (AKPM) is committed to addressing this critical public health issue in partnership with its community, using its multi-media platforms to help young Alaskans heal from the contributing factors.
In 2022 AKPM created a 12-part animated video shorts series, There’s Hope. There’s Help to address this public health issue, working closely with local partners. We developed relationships with 5 local community organizations with subject matter expertise: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Veterans Affairs, Anchorage School District, Alaska Children’s Trust, and CIRI – a regional Native Corporation. Together we crafted messages that provides hope for those struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts offering helpful ideas and links to resources. We wanted folks to know they are not alone in this period of need.
Helping By Listening
Helping Those Impacted by Suicide
Getting Started: Veterans
How to Talk About Suicide
Helping Someone Who’s Bullied
Making the Connection: Veterans
Identifying and Addressing Teen Depression
When You’ve Lost Someone to Suicide
Normalizing Mental Health
988 National Crisis Line Launch
Create Your Circle of Care
We decided on animation as a way to appeal to the target audience age 16-26 and using social media as the main path of reaching them. We chose a “look” that felt warm with helpful messages and to normalize the conversation around suicide and mental health. We decided upon using video lengths of :30-:60 seconds, selected a diverse talent for voice over that felt kind and approachable, and decided we’d make music selections along the way according to each topic. We released videos weekly May-August with a digital-first distribution strategy and subsequent play on our television station KAKM and insertion in our carriage of Create TV. We anticipate re-releasing this content over the next 2-3 years.
From the beginning, AKPM’s intent is to provide amazing content that resonates with the Alaska target audience AND to be a free resource for other PBS stations nationwide, We know that suicide and related mental health issues are a national health care issue so AKPM is sharing these videos for customization and use by other PBS stations.