Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, July 06

Letter: Suicide prevention - As a community we can make a difference

To the editor:

Suicide is a troubling topic that most of us would rather not deal with; however, suicide is a reality and it is more common than we would like to think. By reaching out however, we will discover that there is help and that we are not alone. By learning about warning signs, talking about the unthinkable, getting connected with family, friends and our culture, we may be able to prevent a death.

Arizona ranks ninth in the nation in its rate of suicide deaths. The rate of suicide among Native American youth, ages 15-24, is the highest of any racial or age group in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2008). Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Native Americans between the ages of 10 and 34 years (CDC, 2005). The Native youth have an average suicide rate 2.2 times higher than the national average for their adolescent peers of other races (CDC, 2005).

Should you or someone you know need immediate assistance please call the local police department or your local behavioral health program. If you need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Dyanne V. Medina-Jarrin

Hopi Health Care Center

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