American Indians are more susceptible to suicide than national average

American Indians have a higher risk of dying by suicide. Arizona is home to 22 tribal nations. Suicide is preventable.

Suicide is preventable. Those American Indians considering dying by suicide may demonstrate one of the following behaviors:

  • An increase in substance use
  • A change in sleeping pattern
  • Giving away possessions, including pets
  • Depression and withdrawal from social obligations
  • Discussing dying by suicide

If someone in your life is dealing with loss, or exhibiting one of the symptoms above, there are resources available.  We can all work to prevent suicide.

What you can do:

  • Know the cultural risk factors for suicide among American Indians, and how to refer a person to care.
  •  Consider making a safety plan for if/when you feel depressed or suicidal. A protective factor for suicide includes having a strong support network. Knowing who to call when you feel depressed or suicidal can help in crisis.
  • Practice active listening; listening to someone who is depressed or having suicidal thoughts, without offering advice or judgment, is courageous.
  • Advocate for the importance of suicide surveillance systems, including building relationships with respected community members.
  • Speak with tribal councils, school boards, and other community leaders about the need for suicide prevention resources.
  • If someone in your life is considering dying by suicide, do not leave this person alone. Remove any firearms or unnecessary prescription medications from the home. When in doubt, call 9-11.

If someone in your life is considering dying by suicide, do not leave this person alone. Remove any firearms or unnecessary prescription medications from the home. When in doubt, call 9-11.

For additional resources, visit AHCCCS.

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