Grijalva Introduces Bipartisan Legislation Addressing Native American Suicide Rates
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today re-introduced the Native American Suicide Prevention Act to more actively curtail the alarming rate of suicide amongst Native American populations. This cost-free legislation directs state or state-sponsored organization to make a reasonable effort to consult with Native American Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Urban Indian organizations in the crafting and implementation of suicide intervention and prevention strategies.
“Suicide is a tragic and desperate form of escape, and its prevalence among Native populations, and particularly their youth, says a lot about the terrible conditions and lack of opportunity they face in this country,” Rep. Grijalvasaid. “These are the original Americans, and we owe them more than to turn a blind eye to their suffering. Without greater access to mental health care, and resources for those struggling with suicide, we will continue to see the same tragic results, and that is unacceptable.”
Native peoples face the highest suicide rates in the country- particularly amongst Native youth, as 40 percent of Naive suicides occur among those ages 15-24 years old. Even more alarming is the common occurrence of suicide contagion, an event that causes other native people to commit suicide following the suicide of someone in their community. This legislation will ensure that statewide suicide intervention and prevention programs address the complex and multifaceted causes behind Native suicide rates. A comprehensive fact sheet is available here.