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.
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.
When 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.
UNITY will continue it’s #IwillLive contest on social media through the end of September in an effort to bring further attention to the suicide epidemic among Native youth in Indian Country. The winner will receive one (1) Registration Scholarship to the 2016 National UNITY Conference to be held in July in Oklahoma.
Simply post and share photos of life, family, friends, hobbies – anything you care about – to show your celebration of life. Post on any of UNITY’s social media pages (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and include the hashtag #IwillLive.
For additional resources on suicide prevention, please come back to revisit UNITY’s “I Will Live” page.
September 10, 2015 – World Suicide Prevention Day
UNITY will hold its 2nd Annual “Moment Of Silence” on September 10, 2015, World Suicide Prevention Day. UNITY encourages youth councils and others to plan a Moment of Silence remembering those who have passed on and offering prayers for those who suffer from depression or are considered high risk. The official “UNITY Moment of Silence” will take place at 4 p.m. eastern, 1 p.m. pacific.
In addition, UNITY has created a “I Will Live” page on its website, which includes resources for suicide prevention and events bringing awareness to events held during Suicide Prevention Week, September 7-13, 2015. CLICK HERE to view the UNITY “I WILL LIVE” page.
To learn more about warning signs please go to http://www.suicidology.org/resources/warning-signs. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or you can visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
UNITY announces its #IwillLive initiative during National Suicide Prevention Week and call for moment of silence on World Suicide Prevention Day
September 4, 2015 – Mesa, Arizona — United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) is encouraging all Native youth to participate in its #IwillLive campaign during the National Suicide Prevention Week, September 7-13, 2015. At the National UNITY Conference in Washington, DC, the National UNITY Council (NUC), comprising of Native youth representatives from across the United States, passed the National Suicide Prevention Initiative resolution, later renamed the “I Will Live” Initiative, in an effort to further bring attention to the suicide epidemic among Native youth in Indian Country, and to save lives.
The voices of Native youth were heard loud and clear this past year when the National UNITY Council passed the National Suicide Prevention Initiative resolution, later renamed the “I Will Live” Initiative. In an effort to further bring attention to the suicide epidemic among Native youth in Indian Country, UNITY Inc is sponsoring a Social Media Contest titled “I Will Live” with the winner receiving a Registration Scholarship to the 2016 National UNITY Conference. Simply post and share photos of life, family, friends, hobbies – anything you care about – to show your celebration of life. Post on any of UNITY’s social media pages (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and include the hashtag #IwillLive.
The following resources are available online and may be accessed by following the links provided.
The linked article – American Indian/Alaska Native Youth Suicide Prevention – is published on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A link within the article leads to an issue brief entitled: American Indian Alaska Native Suicide Prevention Issue Brief.
This linked page concerns American Indian / Alaska Native Suicide Prevention and is published online on the SPRC – Suicide Prevention Resource Center website. This page contains links to other suicide prevention resources.
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP). Visit it’s website to learn how the Alliance is championing suicide prevention as a national priority, catalyzing efforts to implement high priority objectives of the NSSP, and cultivating the resources needed to sustain progress.
Check back to the this page for links to additional resources.
National Suicide Prevention Week is planned for September 6 – 12, 2015. Visit the American Association of Suicidology website for information about a few planned activities from around the world and the United States.
Related Arizona Activities that occur after the planned Prevention Week events:
Prescott Walk | Oct. 3, 2015 | Prescott Courthouse Plaza, Down Town, Prescott, AZ | Out of the Darkness Walk | More information about this event may be found online HERE.
Phoenix Area Walk | December 5, 2015 | Tempe Kiwanis Park, 5500 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ | Out of the Darkness Walk | More information about this event may be found online HERE.