Populations and Settings

Champions challenge and lead health and behavioral health care systems to improve the care provided for individuals at risk for suicide.

Native American and Alaska Native

Horse, Native American woman

Suicide rates are up to three times higher among Indigenous Native American and Alaska Native people than among any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. Sovereignty, community control or autonomy, cultural identification, language, spirituality, healing ways, kinship models, and family connectedness are all important protective factors in addressing high rates of suicide among Indigenous populations.

An understanding that Indigenous people are not a homogenous group should be one of the most important drivers to consider for health and behavioral health care programs and services promoting suicide-safe care in Native American and Alaska Native communities. Screening, treatment and follow-up interventions should be designed based on the specific issues affecting each group of interest. They should be culturally-relevant, involve the most appropriate community Elders, Traditional Healers, and other important people, and consider factors such as attitudes toward death and suicide, mental health and substance use challenges and help-seeking behavior.  

See featured resources and search for others specific to Native American and Alaska Native people below.

Features
Resources 1 - 5 of 10

Nebelkopf, E., & King, J. (2003). A holistic system of care for Native Americans in an urban environment....

Bigfoot, D. S., & Schmidt, S. R. (2010). Honoring children, mending the circle: cultural adaptation of trauma‐...

Beckstead, D. J., Lambert, M. J., DuBose, A. P., & Linehan, M. (2015). Dialectical behavior therapy with American...

This two-page fact sheet features a strengths-based intervention that identifies the needs of youth and the goals that the youth and his or her family will work towards with...

This manual is intended to make motivational interviewing easy to learn and use in practice with Native American clients. This client-centered counseling approach provides...

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SPRC and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention are able to make this web site available thanks to support from Universal Health Services (UHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (grant 1 U79 SM0559945).

No official endorsement by SAMHSA, DHHS, or UHS for the information on this web site is intended or should be inferred.