For the third consecutive year, Eve’s Fund has co-sponsored a suicide prevention program, called Native H.O.P.E. (Helping our People Endure), in partnership with Native Pride, a non-profit organization, which offers culture- based programs that focus on prevention, wellness and leadership development.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest suicide rates of all ethnic groups in the United States, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native youth. For 5-14 year olds, the suicide rate is 2.6 times higher than the national average. There is even a greater disparity in the later teenage years and into young adulthood. The suicide rate for American Indian/Alaska Native youth aged 15 to 24 is 3.3 times higher than the national average. Young people aged 15-24 make up 40 percent of all suicides in Indian Country. Further, there are many more nonfatal injuries and events caused by suicidal behaviors.
Native H.O.P.E. is a peer–counseling (youth helping youth) curriculum that focuses on suicide prevention and related risk factors such as substance abuse, violence, trauma and depression. This strengths-based approach, developed by Clayton Small, Ph.D., incorporates culture, spirituality, and humor and provides an awareness and education of the warning signs of suicide.
|Clayton Small, Ph.D.|
Although talking about suicide is taboo for many young people, Dr. Small encourages students to break “the code of silence” so that they can reach out for help when in distress. As well, the participants develop a strategic action plan of ongoing “booster” prevention activities.
Alcohol-related deaths among Native Americans ages 15-24 are 17 times higher than the national averages. The suicide rate for Native American youth is three times the national average. Prevention that is traditionally and culturally sensitive can help save lives.”
Barbara Crowell Roy
Eve’s mom and secretary of Eve’s Fund