Welcome. We are the Alaska chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The grassroots work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.
As a part of AFSP’s growing nationwide network of chapters, we bring together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize our chapter.
Meet the Alaska Board of Directors
Dennis Lasley has lived in Alaska since June of 2008. He works full time at the Anchorage Police Department as an 911 Emergency Dispatcher. Dennis has completed training in CIT, safeTALK and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Dennis completed his B.A.S in Justice Administration in 2013 at Wayland Baptist University. He is a survivor of the loss of his best friend Sean, December of 2008. Dennis first joined AFSP at the Boston Overnight Walk June 2010. The event was so healing, Dennis wanted to form a local chapter in Alaska. Due to his passion and drive, he helped establish the Alaska Chapter in September 2011.
General Board Members
Director: James Biela (Jim) is an Itinerant School Social Worker for the Lower Kuskokwim School District in Bethel, AK. He is a registered trainer for the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and has been actively working with the remote villages of Alaska in addressing the high rates of suicide in the villages. Jim became active in suicide prevention when a close friend in a village died by suicide in 2009. He first became involved with AFSP when he began the certification for School Suicide Prevention Specialist. Jim became a Field Advocate for Alaska in March 2010 and attended the Advocacy week in Washington DC. He has been encouraging the school district in Bethel to address suicide prevention in all schools in their district. He has received support through the student government in Bethel to increase awareness in the Yukon-Kuskokwin Delta.
Director: Lorena Hernandez is employed by the Municipality of Anchorage at the Anchorage Police Department Lorena works in the Emergency Dispatch center as a 911 Call Taker. She is also a small business owner, Alaska Fur Enterprise. Lorena completed her B.A.S at Wayland Baptist University in 2013. She became involved with AFSP when a friend lost someone close to suicide. Lorena is a strong advocate for being involved in the community.
Director: Kimberlee Hancox (Kim) Kim is the Practice Administrator for Alaska Center for Ear, Nose, and Throat (ACENT) in Anchorage. She completed her undergraduate degree in Health Care Administration and her Master’s in Business Administration in 2013. Kim relocated in 2012 from South West Michigan and has really enjoyed the transition to Alaska. She became involved with AFSP when a friend and classmate of her 16 year old son died by suicide. Kim's goal is to work diligently within the state of Alaska to increase awareness and advocacy for suicide.
Director: Morgan Clay Morgan Clay was born and raised in Fairbanks, AK. She and her husband Bob continue to live there with their two small boys, Samuel (5) and Rowan (2).
After graduating from West Valley High School in 2000 Morgan briefly attended UAF before going to work for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. There she worked with children of all ages through the hospitals Young Learners program for employees children. Back to UAF it was for her degree in Early Childhood Education, only to yet again put it on hold to raise her young boys.Morgan lost her brother Clint in 2010 to suicide. Two years later she attended her first Out Of The Darkness Walk and was instantly drawn to the cause. She made lots of phone calls and e mails to find out how to get more involved with AFSP and joined the Board in 2014. She now fully considers herself a Career Volunteer and couldn’t be more happy to have found her place in life helping raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health illnesses.