Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Native Indian Perspective on Youth Suicide

The Native American Experience:

This is very important. There was a rash of suicides on the Nisqually reservation a few years. About the same time there were suicide attempts on my reservation. No one wants to look too closely at this problem. It encompasses all of the introduced behaviors, physicalabuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse etc. There is extreme poverty,alcohol and drugs. The saving grace for many has been our Canoe Journeys. It has been live changing for many. It has been an introduction to our Traditional values and spirituality. We didn'thave ceremonies for all the dysfunctional behaviors and illnesses BC(before columbus). We need new ceremonies. Many Tribal councils arenot concerned with social problems. They are concerned with making money. We do need to make money in this white man's society. Money means nothing if our children are killing themselves.

Do you have similar experiences? if you do please send them to us. Write to us and tell us how you feel about your own personal experiences.
Share your thoughts with those who are here to help.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Youth Helplines: Do you need to talk?

Are you Feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or just need someone to talk to?
Don't wait, call: 1-800-273-8255

Would you like to help us protect our youth from suicide? Email:
"When we work together we can achieve the impossible"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Welcome to God's Angels..A Group Dedicated to ending the Native American Youth Suicide Epidemic

We can't afford lose any more of these children to suicide..
Help us identify the areas in which we can spot the dangers of chronic depression among our Native American Youth, and give them the hope that every young person deserves that is a true American Citizen. ... .....
This is dedicated to The Warrior's Journey..

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Study Identifies Suicide Risk Factors In Native-American Youth Eve Bender
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis find that racial discrimination is one factor highly correlated with suicidal behavior for American Indian youth.
A recent study of suicidal behavior in American Indian youth has improved researchers’ understanding of the problem in that population and helped them to recognize crucial differences in risk factors between those who live on and off reservations.
Researchers at the Buder Center for American Indian Studies and the Comorbidities and Addictions Center at Washington University in St. Louis found that of about 400 American Indian youth aged 12 to 19 living on a reservation and in a nearby city, 30 percent reported having thought about or attempted suicide.
The rate is high, but not entirely unexpected: A 2000 report by the Indian Health Service, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, showed that among American Indian youth, 33.9 per 100,000 commit suicide each year, which is 2.5 times the national rate for all youth.

Stacey Freedenthal: "We wanted a more accurate representation of what is found in the American Indian population."
"Suicide is a profound problem for American Indians," said Stacey Freedenthal, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., who is one of the researchers on the study and presented its findings at the annual conference of the American Association of Suicidology in Santa Fe in April.
She explained that within the general population, elderly men commit suicide at the highest rate, but within the American Indian population, adolescent boys have the highest rate of suicide. This translates into "many lost years and generations," she said.
Freedenthal and her colleagues at Washington University, principal investigators Arlene Stiffman, Ph.D., and Eddie Brown, D.S.W., surveyed American Indian youth as part of the American Indian Multisector Help Inquiry (AIM-HI) study. This is a five-year, longitudinal study that began in 2001 and measures, among other items, help-seeking patterns among American Indians.
The researchers sampled two groups of American Indian youth—one living on a reservation (205) and one in a nearby large city (196)—because the bulk of health care research on American Indians has focused on those who live on reservations, despite evidence that most live in urban areas, according to Freedenthal.
"We wanted a more accurate representation of what is found in the American Indian population," she said.
The researchers randomly sampled the tribal and school records of American Indian youth in a Southwestern state to select the study population. The researchers have kept the name and exact location of the reservation and urban area confidential at the request of the reservation’s tribal leaders. Once they selected the youth, the researchers used the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Service Assessment for Children and Adolescents, and Orthogonal Cultural Identity Scale to obtain their data.
Freedenthal and her colleagues found that the youth at both sites had risk factors typically associated with suicidal behavior. For instance, 43 percent had an arrest history, 65 percent had a history of substance abuse in his or her family, 26 percent had a problem with substance abuse, and 18 percent were depressed.
The researchers also examined the correlation between some of these risk factors and suicidal behavior in the reservation and urban samples.
They found that the risk factors correlated with suicidal behavior that were unique to reservation youth were depression, a family history of drug abuse, alcohol abuse (in the youth), an arrest history, and racial discrimination.
According to Freedenthal, many of the reservation youth were bused to schools in predominantly white suburbs. "In focus groups, the youth living on the reservations reported a great deal of discrimination against them, perhaps most surprisingly by their teachers."
The risk factor correlated with suicidal behavior unique to urban youth was less social support.
Some of the risk factors correlated with suicidal behavior that urban and reservation youth shared were exposure to suicidal behavior by a friend or family member, a history of physical and sexual abuse, and having a diagnosis of conduct disorder or a substance use disorder, according to Freedenthal.
She said, "Our hope is that by studying urban and reservation youth separately, we can develop suicide prevention and intervention programs that take into account each group’s unique strengths and risks."
The AIM-HI study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
More information about the American Indian Multisector Help Inquiry study is posted on the Web at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Indian Children are Dying...What can we do?

Posted October 8th, 2008 by Michelle Davis - 4,287 views
Teen depression is one of the major illnesses that teens suffer from. Teens who suffer from depression are not simply in a bad mood or having a string of bad days. Depression afflicts many average teenagers and is often mistaken for a hormonal imbalance that will regulate itself. Unlike normal teens who “bounce back”, teens who are suffering from depression and do not receive treatment can become anti-social, withdrawn, sad, anger, prone towards acts of violence and even suicidal. Clearly, the good news is that teenager depression, when detected, can be medically treated.

In order to get the necessary treatment for a depressed teen, you have to be able to recognize the warning signs and symptoms. Although many symptoms can occur with teens who are not depressed, if any of these signs are exhibited for a prolonged period of time:
• Displaying anger, rage, or irritability towards family and others• Tearful and/or moping without provocation or at the slightest hint of criticism• Withdrawn from family and friends more than usual or prone to staying shut in their room for hours on end• Destruction or giving away of personal items previously of significant value• Sharp differences in eating and sleeping patterns• Excessive tiredness or lack of energy• Trouble concentrating• Dramatic change in grades at school
Obviously the symptoms listed are not a complete list and the best gauge for determining whether or not your teen is suffering from depression is to contrast their present behavior with how your know you teen normally behaviors. Sharp contrasts that continue and seem to be unrelenting should be taken up with your teen’s health care professional to determine whether or not your teen is suffering from depression.
Most treatment options involving medications are not quick fix remedies for teen depression. Instead they involve many months of office visits and medications that tend to take at least a month before effects can be felt. For persistence, however improvement will be noticed and felt after that time.
For those who seek alternative treatment methods, be sure to carefully evaluate not only the method but the source. Try to find others who have tried such treatments and learn what success they have achieved. By all means, do not subject your teen to an experimental treatment method that has not be verified by other medical professionals or thoroughly laboratory tested.
Remember that treatment options for teens suffering from depression are different than those given to adults. Teens respond to medications in a different manner. Any medication you choose for your teen has some inherent risks. Be sure that you thoroughly discuss the side effects of any medication prescribed for your teen and watch for any possible side effects that seem to worsen your teen’s depression.
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A War Against Tears..

Today's Native youths, tomorrow's Native leaders are caught in a suicidal epidemic that is claiming more lives than any other ethnic group.

Native youths kill themselves at a rate nearly twice the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In its most recent study, from 1996 to 1998, the CDC found 303 Native youths up to 24 years old took their own lives.
About one in five Native girls have attempted suicide, compared to about 12 percent of boys, according to the American Medical Association. Boys, however, were five times more likely to complete suicide.

The reasons are many. Experts point to depression, isolation, substance abuse, broken families, the pain of historical tragedies and a lack of mental health support on rural reservations.
The results, though, are tragic.


Raise International public awarness to this tragedy in the hope of shining lights on the Native childrens' living conditions, social barriers, and community support structures, essentially bringing hope and light to dark places. -It's a good place to start.

Help us bring hope to these children, and save as many lives as the Lord will permit.

Would you like to help us protect our youth from suicide? Email: