I Will Live! – UNITY, Inc.

My healing journey: UNITY Alaskan Native youth

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Korbin Storms, Native Village of Unalakleet, Alaska

I would tell Native Youth that struggle to see themselves as leaders that they have resiliency in their DNA, that sometimes it takes someone who has been low and lost before to connect to others that are feeling that way, that they have a unique perspective and so much potential to enact change and that the best leaders are those that give hope to others. The challenge I am most proud of overcoming in my lifetime is learning that although I have a relationship with mental illness it is not define who I am. I am so much more than my depression. That, perhaps most importantly, I could be a good mother despite my illness.

If you are putting yourself into a leadership role that focuses on healing oneself, you must show character and be transparent.  #NativeYouthVoices

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Native youth testimonies help push Suicide Prevention Act 

The Native American Suicide Prevention Act, sponsored by Arizona Congressman Grijalva, was a key provision in the latest $900 Billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress last month. The Native American Suicide Prevention Act requires states to work with tribes and tribal entities when implementing suicide prevention programs. Last July, four UNITY youth leaders testified during a Mental Health and Healing Oversight Hearing hosted by the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. According to Congressman Grijalva’s office, the hearing played a major role in the development of the Native American Suicide Prevention Act. Read More

Prayer Fire event held in response to suicide crisis

Shoshone Paiute tribal youth leaders in Nevada hosted and participated in a Prayer Fire to address a rash of recent suicides in their tribal community. Marco Ovando, a member of the UNITY 25 Under 25 Leaders and members of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Youth Council teamed up to address three suicides within a two-week period along with other health-related deaths. The Prayer Fire, to recognize victims and ask for healing and protection, was held at the community’s pow wow grounds.

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Generational Resilience 3 Part Webinar series

Watch and learn as the SAMHSA recorded webinars examine traditional practices for prevention, life skills development and models for positive youth development. Read More

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources for Native Youth

In mid-September, the Center for Native American YouthNative Wellness InstituteWe R Native, and Tribal Health Reaching Out Involves Everyone (THRIVE) announced the “Native Youth Are Medicine Campaign.” This campaign aims to spark conversations around mental health, self-love, and to create youth-centered spaces to share practices that promote healing, wellness, and tools to live in balance. Check out their websites and social media/YouTube channels for a variety of virtual gatherings, including webinars, resource sharing, and discussions to promote wellness for Native American youth.

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UNITY We Have Hope Q & A: Native youth Artist Spotlight

The We Have Hope series highlights Native youth from across the nation doing great things during uncertain times. We’re excited for our first special guest, Evynn Richardson from the Haliwa Saponi Tribe of North Carolina! Evynn is a rising artist and designed the 2020 UNITY Virtual Conference. Join us at 3pm PST for our Native youth artist spotlight Q&A.  At 5pm PST we’ll have a second special guest, Jaron Yazzie from the Navajo Nation! Jaron is a rising artist and creates traditional Navajo jewelry.

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Holiday Support for Native Youth

Prevention experts know that the holidays can be a tough time for those who suffer from depression, grief, and loss, and it’s just as important to support our youth during this time. Learn more about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and related resources by clicking the link. The Lifeline is free, confidential, and available 24/7. 1-800-273-8255 Read More

Titla joins panelists to discuss suicide

Tackling the suicide epidemic among military veterans is the focus of a task force called the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). The task force, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Nick Lowery Youth Foundation, recently hosted a Town Hall in Scottsdale, Arizona featuring a panel of community leaders including UNITY’s Executive Director Mary Kim Titla, San Carlos Apache.

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International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day – November 23rd

As the holidays approach, International Survivors of Suicide Day reminds us that this time of year can take a toll on survivors around the world. Survivors of suicide are those who lost a friend, family member, or community member to suicide. If you have lost someone to suicide, you are not alone. We Are Connected, together we can heal and support.

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Veterans Day: You Protected Us. Let Us Walk with You

On November 11th, we honored our AI/AN Veterans, as well as acknowledging active-duty members. Even though Veterans Day has passed, we encourage you to reach out to AI/AN Veterans in your life and check on them. A simple thank you can go a long way. Read More