Wolf River Consulting Co-Facilitates Tribal Suicide Prevention Training

American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest rates of suicide of any racial or ethnic group in the United States with rates in this population increasing since 2003. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Native youth and young adults aged 10–24 years and is two to four times the rate of other Americans in this age group. While suicide rates remain high in Native communities, it is preventable. Communities on reservations and in urban areas can benefit from developing and implementing comprehensive community prevention and postvention plans that are inclusive of individuals who may be at risk, as well as programs the whole community can take part in to promote the mental health of their youth, consequently helping their members heal and prevent suicidal behaviors.

Wolf River Consulting’s Managing Partner and Founder, Kim Vigue, recently facilitated part one of a webinar series on suicide prevention in Indian Country for Native Connections, a U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) program that helps Native communities identify and address the behavioral health of their youth and ease the impact of substance use, mental illness, and trauma in their communities. The objectives of this first webinar were to review, To Live to See the Great Day that Dawns, a SAMHSA suicide prevention guide that lays the groundwork for community-based prevention and mental health promotion for Native youth and to help American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages start the conversation around suicide in their communities. A later webinar, held in August 2019, will highlight additional content in the suicide prevention guide and focus on how to develop action plans and respond to suicide.

This guide is a valuable resource for prevention professions, health care practitioners, educators, and family advocates serving AI/AN youth. To order or download a copy of To Live to See the Great Day that Dawns visit the SAMHSA store.