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.

For more in-depth information and resources, check out our new supplementary toolkit Best and Promising Practices for the Implementation of Zero Suicide in Indian Country.

Features
Resources 6 - 10 of 21

Esther Tenorio, Project Director, Katishtya Embraces Youth Wellness and Hope (KEYWAH), San Felipe Pueblo, discusses aligning evidence-based programs with Indigenous ways of...

Dr. Donald Warne discusses Integrating clinical and community-based services to prevent suicide in Indian Country.

In this interview from The Rural Monitor, Dr. Don Warne touches on some of the root causes of the health disparities affecting American Indian communities and the...

Lived Experience expert Diana Cortez-Yanez relates the care she received that made a positive impact on her recovery.

Adapted by the THRIVE project at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, this document can help all types of organizations understand their Zero Suicide...

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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.