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Suicide Prevention in Native American Communities, The Dialogue [SAMHSA], Jun. 29, 2011

This article by SPRC Senior Tribal Prevention Specialist Petrice Post describes some of the factors that influence suicide prevention work in Native American communities. Isolation, high unemployment, and limited educational opportunity associated with reservation life can be a challenge. These factors can produce hopelessness and lack of connectedness, which tends to amplify suicide risk factors such as depression and substance abuse. Native Americans may be reluctant to talk about family and personal trauma, particularly with someone from outside their family, community, or culture. To carry out effective suicide prevention work with tribes – each of which has its own unique assets and traditions – Post recommends that practitioners “develop relationships with the community and seek advice on how to exercise your expertise and resources in ways that will be effective within that community’s culture and history.” This issue of The Dialogue also includes an article called “Suicide in Indian country: The silent epidemic” that gives specific suggestions on working with suicide emergencies in Indian Country.

Read the article at www.samhsa.gov.