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Alaska Injury Prevention Center
Suicide Issues
Alaska Suicide Follow-Back Study
The Alaska Injury Prevention Center received a grant from the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority via the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council to conduct a three-year Suicide Follow-back Study or psychological autopsy. The study was recently completed and looked at all 426 suicides in Alaska between September 1, 2003 - August 31, 2006. The study tried to piece together the individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional history, in an attempt to find common precursors. The principle investigator was Ron Perkins, AIPC, with help from Teri and Nels Sanddal, Critical Illness and Trauma Foundation, Marcia Howell, AIPC, and Dr. Lanny Berman, American Association of Suicidology. We examined death records, police records, health records, and for a convenience sample of 56, we conducted personal interviews with key informants. The interviews took an average of 90 minutes, and seemed to be very healing for the survivors. The interviews were attempted at least 6 weeks after the death to allow family members to grieve and mourn without disruption.

Follow-back studies are used to characterize those who complete suicide by identifying risk and protective factors associated with the death. Existing suicide research is strongest in the identification of risk factors, particularly mental and substance abuse disorders, less developed in non-mental health-related factors, in categorizing protective factors, and only beginning to analyze the unique contributions of individual risk and protective factors as they contribute to populations

The final report can be accessed from Alaska Suicide Follow-back Study.

Suicide Study Alaska Medicine is a case-control study of hospital visits 12 months preceding suicide in N. Alaska,

This study looked at suicide cases in northern Alaska and matched them with controls to see how medical services were used by each group during the 12 months preceding the suicide death. The cases were 22 times more likely to be seen for an alcohol related events and over 3 times more likely to be seen for an injury.
A Case-Control Study of Hospital Visits 12 months Preceding Suicide In N. Alaska, Suicide Study Alaska Medicine

Firearm-Related Deaths in the Alaska Native Population, Ron Perkins, Mary O'Connor - Firearm Deaths

Suicide: Alaska Suicide Follow-back Study, Alaska Suicide Follow-back Study

Suicide: Alaska Suicide Hospitalizations, Hospitalized Suicidal Act