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.
“The discussion included suicide among the general population, which is so important. Yes, suicide is very high among veterans but among ethnic groups, Native Americans have the highest suicide rate. Both groups are dealing with internalized trauma. Research shows, trauma is passed on genetically so historical trauma comes into play. However, many of our Native youth witness or deal with trauma on a daily basis. Our Native youth are resilient but we must work together to provide the necessary resources and make sure everyone has access to those services,” said Titla.
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control reported suicide as the eighth leading cause of death among American Indians and Alaskan Natives. However, suicide is the second leading cause of death among Native youth for those ages 5 to 24 years old (40 per 100,000 compared with the U.S. all-race rate of 9.9 per 100,000).
Panelists from various agencies took part in the Town Hall including the Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs, the Tempe Police Department, Pay Your Family First LLC and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).