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Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience (ANCHRR): Partnerships for Promoting Strengths and Wellbeing as Suicide Prevention

Leadership

Contact Principal Investigator:  Stacy Rasmus, PhD
Principal Investigators: Lisa Wexler, PhD and James Allen, PhD

ANCHRR map

Hub Activity Sites

Bering Strait Region
Northwest Arctic Borough
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

Project Overview

Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience (ANCHRR) anchors and supports collective efforts to reduce the burden of suicide among Alaska Native (AN) youth.  The hub uses scientific tools and methods to recognize and build AN strengths and protections against suicidal and other adverse behaviors through a multilevel model of youth resilience.  The hub also develops and sustains tribal capacity to conduct research and use science to promote and increase wellbeing among AN youth and communities. ANCHRR builds on established tribal partnerships in the three regions of Alaska with needs for effective, culturally congruent and community-based suicide prevention. The hub will extend a successful model of AN research collaboration to include all of the tribal health regions across the state. ANCHRR is a strategy for strengthening existing research partnerships, developing new partnerships, and conducting research - thereby broadening the potential impacts from suicide prevention research efforts throughout Alaska, as well as throughout the Arctic more generally.

Research Study

The ANCHRR Study is a 3-region research project to evaluate what AN rural communities are doing to support young people and promote their wellbeing.  The study seeks to identify community-level protective factors, and explore their relationship to suicide-related risk behavior, in 65 villages throughout the Bering Strait, Northwest Arctic and Yukon-Kuskokwim regions. Researchers will test the unique contribution of these community level variables in enhancing youth outcomes. The study is guided by a Research Steering Committee made up of AN leaders, service providers, and researchers, who will also assist in the integration of its results into a tool that AN communities can use to assess local community-level strengths. This envisioned Alaska Community Resilience Mapping (AK-CRM) tool will facilitate community efforts to strategically increase individual community-level strengths to improve youth wellbeing and to reduce youth suicide.

Capacity Building

ANCHRR serves as a statewide resource for the translation of research results and findings into practices for reducing AN youth suicide. Data and results from the suicide prevention study will be disseminated through the statewide collaborative research network as part of the development of the AK-CRM for mapping AN community resilience. Additionally, ANCHRR serves to engage tribal communities and statewide systems in efforts to promote data-driven policies and program planning and best practices for reducing suicide risk and increasing strengths, protection, and resilience.  By engaging Alaskan leadership, communities, and youth in the collaborative, statewide research initiative, ANCHRR builds capacity for research that is rigorous, indigenously-informed, and guided, to address this most urgent health priority and disparity.

Project Website: Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience