Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for indigenous people in the U.S. between the ages of 10 and 34. This trend continued in 2020 with Native Americans having the highest suicide rates of all ethnic and racial groups [read the 2021 World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference Final Report].
It should be our societal goal to ensure that factors contributing to suicide in our communities are successfully reduced. We must work together to implement programs that strengthen connection to community and that reinforce the value and role of our cultural traditions and practices. Our citizens, our people, our youth deserve a foundation of sound mental health.
The USET Tribal Health Program Support (THPS) department supports our member Tribal Nations with hands on suicide prevention training and support. We offer up-to-date public health information, advocacy tools, policy analysis, and health promotion and disease prevention programming. THPS believes that elevating the health status of Tribal citizens is integral in restoring and maintaining the heart, spirit, and soul common to every USET Tribal Nation.
As previously communicated, the Seneca Nation has been selected to host the World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference, now rescheduled to July 23-25, 2024, taking place on their sovereign homelands. This conference will be an important convening of interests from across Indian Country to address this critical issue and to share indigenous best practices to reduce suicide rates across our communities.
In preparation for this event, the Seneca Nation is hosting a Charitable Golf Tournament at their Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course August 7-8, 2023 [Save the Date Flyer linked] to raise funds to support this 2024 conference. The Seneca Nation requests your support for this vital cause on behalf of all people and communities across Indian Country.
“Indigenous communities throughout the world face the harsh reality of high suicide rates, particularly among our young people. We want to bring together Native Nations from around the world for next year’s conference to address the issues our communities and families are facing, and to work toward creating effective solutions to help prevent further pain from the tragedy of unexpected and unexplained loss”, stated Seneca Nation President Ricky Armstrong, Sr.
Please see the letter from Seneca Nation with more information.
The Center for Native American Youth
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
CDC: Native Americans See Highest Increase of Suicide Deaths - Feb 2023
The Red Road
The Trevor Project
Resources for Native American and Alaska Native Populations
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Youth Mental Health First Aid for Tribal Communities and Indigenous Peoples
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Institute of Mental Health