Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Suicide Prevention Program
Despite the strengths of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) families and communities, suicide remains a devastating and all too frequent event. Complex, interrelated factors contribute to an increased suicide risk among AI/AN people. Risk factors include mental health disorders, substance abuse, intergenerational trauma, and community-wide issues. Factors that protect AI/AN youth and young adults against suicidal behavior are a sense of belonging to one's culture, a strong tribal/spiritual bond, the opportunity to discuss problems with family or friends, feeling connected to family, and positive emotional health.
Cooperation among tribal, federal, and other partners is imperative to create a safety net of interconnected programming—health, education, law enforcement, public health and well-being, economic development, and physical and behavioral health—to maximize effectiveness of services and to protect individuals against suicide risk.
The Indian Health Service is partnering with tribal, federal, state, and community leadership to advance behavioral health and prevent suicide in AI/AN communities.