Fri 1 Jul, 2005 05:46 pm
Suicides among American Indian youth soarBig News Network
Friday 1st July, 2005 (UPI)
American Indian leaders are alarmed by the rising number of suicides among the youth on the Cheyenne River reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D.
The reservation recorded 17 youth suicides in 2002-03, with an average of five attempts per week, ABC-TV reported. In the tightly knit community, everyone knew at least one of the teenagers who tried to take their own lives, the report said.
Some of these suicides were young men who had made a suicide pact with one another. They drew numbers, and decided to hang themselves in that order, said Julie Garreau, executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project. It's something that people outside native communities don't seem to know about.
Recent studies have said American-Indian teens are more than twice as likely as other teens to kill themselves.
Garreau recently told a Senate committee hearing that daily life on the reservation is hard on our youth. She said it is especially evident among families ravaged by alcoholism. Geographic isolation and poverty are other reasons.
Psychologist Joseph B. Stone said one way to curb the suicides is to equip reservations with more mental health professionals.
I think more jobs and better housing would also depress the suicide rate.
I guess that when just about everything that was ever yours
has been taken away - there is no point in living on.
I feel a great sympathy for the Native American, as I do the Australian Aborigani.
Sometimes it's not easy being from an Imperialistic Country.
In fact, sometimes I am sickened by my own complacency.
I'm trying to think of something useful to do. It's weird to live here and not know anything about where these reservations are--and how one can do something that may help one of these teenagers.
If you come up with something, maybe we can work together.
Things like the "Gimme Five" scam represent how some people in power have long-dealt with native tribes in america. People with power, freinds of the elected elite calling you 'monkeys', etc, can't be good for your self-image. We, non-natives, have been effectively raping native americans and the lands they've been corraled onto for hundreds of years.
What could you do, Lash? You could demonstrate your respect to the natives of this country by demanding DeLay's resignation.
Exactly how would that help a Native American teenager, k?
By making them feel as if the country they live in doesn't think they're good for nothing except stealing from idiots, perhaps.
Now I know where a private school is with 99% Native American attendance. What to do?
Lash, in all seriousness, what does asking a bunch of euro-descent folks about it? How about looking on the web? Lots of good websites run by tribal councils.
Excuse me. I have been under the impression that the people here probably had methods of involvement with these issues, and I also thought this was a pretty thoughtful group, who may have good ideas.
Sorry, Lash, I'm being harsh. It's a touchy subject for me.
(Has DeLay said something insulting about Native Americans?)
Did you read the article?
I didn't see one that mentioned DeLay.
The one I posted did, not directly, but as a recipient of bad money.
Anyway, here's a link to a government document on suicide prevention in native american youths.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Service
Suicide is not a single problem; rather it is a single response to multiple problems.
I'll look at it, but in the meantime, if anyone wants to really take some kind of action (that's possible for people with limited resources) that they really think may make a difference for one, two, ...of these children/young people--PM me.
I am full of desire, but short on ideas.
Here's a link to the testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs by the American Phsychological Association:
How can you know how to help if you don't know the background?