I Will Live! – UNITY, Inc.

UNITY Alumna featured at Suicide Prevention Conference

Lauren Shelly Pina, San Carlos Apache, former UNITY 25 Under 25 honoree, shared inspiring words last month during Suicide Prevention Month at the Life is Precious Conference in San Carlos, Arizona. Pina spoke about her journey to Penn State University, where she’s a student. “I knew I wanted to be an engineer since junior high. During my senior year, I was accepted into 20 colleges. I knew I wanted to get off the reservation. My mom encouraged me. She said there’s more to see off the reservation and you can always come back. I was raised hearing ‘the sky is the limit and there’s so much more to life.’ I wanted to explore the world and I didn’t regret it one bit,” said Pina.

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Join the Indigi-Wellness Champion Campaign Contest

Calling all UNITY Wellness Warriors to join the Indigi-Wellness Champion Campaign Contest! You could win these amazing prizes by posting photo. As part of UNITY’s ongoing efforts to promote mental wellness, we partnered with the National Council of Urban Indian Health, to launch this online campaign contest from September 10-20, 2019!

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#iWillLive Stories of Inspiration: Jerald Cobenais

#iWillLive Stories of Inspiration  -Written by UNITY Youth: Jerald Cobenais, Red Lake band of Ojibwe on his experiences with Suicide, and how he overcame.
“At an early age I was affected by suicide. I lost my older sister when I was 7-years-old.  At the time, I didn’t even know what suicide was.  Read More

Mental Health Awareness Month – Student Resources

Research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness shows that one in four students on college campuses is affected by mental illness. In an effort to raise awareness, our education experts at BestColleges.com have published a mental health guide (The Top Mental Health Challenges Facing Students) for college students. The guide’s purpose is to help identify the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues for college students – and where and when to seek help. The guide includes:

  • How to recognize the most common mental health issues facing students
  • Resources for seeking help, including a glossary of treatments
  • Explanation of student rights related to mental health care

Celebration of Life Gathering Raises Suicide Prevention Awareness

14322745_10154136510938051_8677260070870160645_nOn Saturday, September 17, 2016, more than two dozen Native youth and adults gathered at Tohono O’odham Nation in Sells, Arizona, for a special evening of celebrating life. The Celebration of Life Suicide Prevention and Awareness Event was led by UNITY youth leader Julian Juan (Tohono O’odham), and highlighted UNITY Executive Committee Male Co-President, Hamilton Seymour (Nooksack Indian Tribe & Chemanius First Nation), as well as the UNITY fire and a remembrance walk. Read More

Suicide Prevention Gathering Promotes Healing Among Native Youth and Communities

UNITY holds special UNITY Fire gathering
on World Suicide Prevention Day

unity-fire-2  unity-fire-1

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 – MESA, AZ – More than 40 Native youth and adults gathered last Saturday at the UNITY headquarters in Mesa, Arizona for a special evening that coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day. The UNITY Fire gathering, led by Sheldon Smith, Navajo, and Ron Interpreter, Navajo, offered prayers and explained the importance of the evening. Read More

Suicide among young American Indians nearly double national rate

The following story may be read in its entirety on the pbs.com website.

When Joaquin Gallegos was 5-years-old, his uncle took his own life.

For two decades, more than 30 of his family members and friends did the same, part of a trend sweeping Indian Country where suicide among people age 18 to 24 far outpaces the national rate, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

#IwillLive – My Story

As Suicide Prevention Month comes to an end, UNITY wishes to thank everyone for participating in the #IwillLive photo/essay contest. Kiana Factor, Sioux/Creek/Comanche and a UNITY youth, shares her story about struggles many youth face. She hopes her story will encourage Native youth to celebrate life.

Kiana FactorWhen something bad happens, you have three choices: you can let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you. We all have had our good and bad days, but what matters most, is what you learn and take away from those days that makes you stronger..

At a young age, you never really know how to deal with the different situations life throws at you. In my twenty- four years, I have had my fair share of depression. When I was 16, I fell in love for the first time. It was during my sophomore year in high school, we were together for about a year and a half, and at that time, a year and a half felt like a long time. After we had moved on, graduated, and went on with our lives. We never really kept in contact, as is the case when a relationship ends. Then one night I received a random phone call from him. He asked how I was doing and where I had decided to go to school, and I asked him the same. It was when we had hung up that I began to wonder what was really going on with him and his life. I hadn’t tried to contact him after that to find out more, but I wish I had.

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