Murkowski Commends SAMHSA Grants to Alaska Native Communities

Funding to Address Suicide, Bolster Substance Misuse Prevention

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) commends the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for providing 29 Tribal Behavioral Health Grants for $7 million to Tribal communities, including six grants to Alaska. The funding will help prevent suicide and substance misuse among young people in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Around 20 percent of the funds will go directly to Alaskan communities with the goal of reducing the impact of trauma while promoting mental health for young Alaska Natives.

SAMHSA grant graph

“The sad fact is that many communities in Alaska face alarming rates of substance misuse, suicide, trauma, and unaddressed mental health challenges. Young Alaskans are dying at an alarming rate due to these factors, especially in Alaska Native communities. The impacts of trauma affects entire lives, and many are unable to recover due to an inability to access mental health services. In order to fulfill our responsibility to prepare young people for a better future, we must help them during the present – especially in these situations of need and distress,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “I am pleased that the SAMHSA is granting $7 million to communities across the nation, with over $1.4 million going directly to Alaskan communities."