The oppression of American Indians and Alaska Natives and the resulting intergenerational trauma (also referred to as historical trauma) and adverse childhood experiences have contributed to disproportionately high rates of depression, other mental illness, and suicide among Tribal youth. Research has shown that culture-based approaches can work to leverage strengths within Tribal communities and protect youth against suicide. Find resources in this section to help in understanding and addressing suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native youth along with engagement and prevention strategies.
American Indian/Alaska Native Settings
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (2020)
Offers concrete steps for service providers in working with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to prevent youth suicide attempts as well as resources to support behavioral health and wellness within these communities.
Culture Forward: A Strengths and Culture Based Tool to Protect Our Native Youth From Suicide
Center for American Indian Health (2021)
Presents strengths- and culture-based approaches to suicide prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native communities that aims to promote healthy Native youth development.
Honoring Life, Preventing Loss: Building Capacity Around Suicide Prevention in Tribal Child Welfare Programs (PDF - 299 KB)
Capacity Building Center for Tribes, Tribal Information Exchange (2021)
Lists resources focusing on suicide prevention efforts and Tribal best practices for dealing with suicide and depression.
Hope for Life Day Toolkit
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (2020)
Offers a toolkit to help change the conversation around suicide in American Indian and Alaska Native communities as well as spread awareness and foster hope to help address suicide.
The Native American Identity Crisis and the Rise of Suicide
Native Hope (2021)
Examines the breakdown of culture in the Native American population, which has resulted in high suicide rates, and explores how American Indian and Alaska Native people are working to restore hope and pride in their communities.
Native Youth and Suicide Prevention
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, VAWnet (2021)
Outlines the issue of suicide in American Indian and Alaska Native communities and discusses statistics and provides prevention resources and links to reports and recommendations for ways to address depression and suicide.
SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Videos
National American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (2019)
Presents two videos addressing suicide prevention in Alaska Native and American Indian communities.
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Education (2020)
Provides a list of Federal agencies and organizations working to prevent suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native youths.
Suicide Prevention and Care Program
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service
Provides immediate assistance to individuals in suicidal crisis by connecting them to the nearest available crisis center in their area.
Transforming Tribal Communities: Indigenous Perspectives on Suicide Prevention [Videos]
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (2019)
Presents a series of webinar videos that offer expert advice on addressing the root causes of mental health issues and suicide in the American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
The Trevor Project Research Brief: American Indian/Alaskan Native Youth Suicide Risk (PDF - 430 KB)
The Trevor Project (2020)
Examines suicide within the American Indian and Alaska Native youth population with a specific focus on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning) youth, who are at higher risk for suicide.