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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Veteran? Be Connected.

Those who served in the military, and their families, have a higher risk of dying by suicide. 

Suicide is preventable. Those 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

Those who served in the military, and their family members, may consider suicide after service. If you have a veteran in your life who is dealing with loss, or exhibiting one of the symptoms above, there are resources available.

Be Connected links those who served in the military, and their families, with resources—including suicide prevention information with a 24-hour helpline: 1-866-4AZ-VETS. Navigators work with those who have served and their families to understand concerns and guide them to the appropriate resource.

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.

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Talk with your teen about suicide prevention

September is suicide prevention month. Did you know on average more than 1,300 Arizonans die by suicide annually? Students of all ages may be at risk.

Suicide is preventable. Those 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

Students, and teens especially, may consider suicide after a sudden loss. A breakup, an argument with a friend, not making a sports team, etc., may trigger immediate depressive symptoms. If you have a student in your life who is dealing with loss, or exhibiting one of the symptoms above, there are resources available.

Teen Lifeline offers a teen help line: 800-248-8336. They also offer information for parents and teachers to identify students at risk, and how to refer them into care. For more information, visit: https://teenlifeline.org/teen-topics/parent/

Teen Lifeline also offers a free program to middle school and high schools. The Badge ID Project prints Teen LifeLine information on school badges, along with a curriculum for administrators, parents, and students. For more information: https://teenlifeline.org/get-involved/arizona-school-id-initiative/

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