Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | GrandCanyonTourGuide.com
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : health and wellness August 27, 2015


9/3/2008 11:06:00 AM
Diné task forces leading the way to prevent suicide
Submitted by Dennis Bowen Sr.
Special to the Observer

Suicide is one of the most underestimated community health problems in the United States. Recent years in Tuba City have seen 18 suicides and over 200 people hospitalized with injuries from attempted suicides. The highest number of suicides in Tuba City have all been in the 10-30 year age group. The age group in Tuba City that has had the highest number of non-fatal suicide injuries is the 10-21 year age group.

Suicide is the third leading reason for emergency visits to the Tuba City Regional Health Care Center (TCRHCC). In Tuba City, suicide is the second leading cause of deaths. March is the leading month for hospitalization of individuals with attempted suicide injuries. April is the leading month for suicides. The majority of suicide cases (male and female) were alcohol-related deaths.

Across the Diné Nation, there are numerous local suicide prevention task forces organizing to renew life-assisting skills for reservation communities. This cultural protective factor or valuing life has been worn down over the past two centuries. Today, proactive local task force work is rebuilding this cultural and community strength. Native suicide rates vary from two and a half times the national average to 10 times the national average across all Indigenous territories. Native youth suicide epidemics have been occurring in various parts of the U.S. and Canada.

On Tuesday, Sept. 9, the Tuba City Suicide Prevention Task Force will gather along with community service providers from community- and school-based programs for a Valuing Life Community Breakfast. This will take place at the Hogan Restaurant at 9 a.m. There will be speakers who will share information on the scope and extent of suicide in Tuba City and the local communities. Other topics will highlight current prevention, intervention and postvention services available.

On Sept. 12-13, the Fourth Annual MBRACE Life 2008 Summit to educate and mobilize communities to stop Native suicide will take place in Flagstaff. The conference will be at the High Country Conference Center at NAU with the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA) serving as the primary sponsoring agency. Last year's summit took place at Hondah on the White Mountain Apache Nation. This year's conference theme is "Protecting Creation's Dream." The conference contact number at NARBHA is (928) 774-5665. Limited scholarships and two night's lodging are available for families, youth and elders.

On Sept. 18, there will be an evening community suicide prevention walk at the old Tuba City airport starting at 6:30 p.m. The Tuba City Suicide Prevention Task Force invites families and individual of all ages to participate in the 1.5 mile walk. There will be water, incentives, a health fair and suicide awareness rally. The next task force meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Tuba City Boarding School Conference Room.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, the Fourth Generation's Journey Toward Sacred Life Suicide Prevention Walk will meet at the Chinle Hospital in Chinle. Walkers will arrive in Chinle with starting points in communities from all four directions across the Navajo Nation. From Tuba City, a team of walkers will be traveling by foot and vehicle to Chinle. The Tuba City Task Force contact number is (928) 283-2831. The contact number for the Kayenta Task Force is (928) 697-4186. The Shiprock Task Force contact number is (505) 368-6493.

Many Indigenous cultures have maintained that there is a cultural taboo regarding discussions of suicide. The various cultural attitudes about suicide are important for our people to address. Today, we witness the tragic risk factors of silence, misperceptions and secrecy as the deadly connections to suicide among Indigenous people. Healthy discussion, personal and community awareness and openness are key protective factors to stop suicide among Native families and communities.

The Tuba City Suicide Prevention Task Force invites all compassionate family and community members to the next meeting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 3 at the Boarding School conference room. Call (928) 283-2661 or 283-2501 in Tuba City for immediate help for a suicide situation.


    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack


Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Article comment by: No name provided

Hi, Suicide is a big problem in today's world. Young generation is not capable of facing the ups and downs in their life. I wish that everyone should understand that the life is precious and life must go on. Rick



Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast


Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, nhonews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved