World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10
UNITY Calls for National Moment of Silence
on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10
UNITY staff members gathered in the office and shared a moment of silence on September 10 to remember the many Native youth who have been lost to suicide.
Mesa, Arizona— United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) will observe a moment of silence on World Suicide Prevention Day in memory of Native American youth who have committed suicide. Started by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day brings together individuals and organizations with an interest in suicide prevention, and mobilizes efforts to save lives.
According to IASP, every year, almost one million people die from suicide; this roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.
“The suicide rate for young Native Americans is more than three times the national average and up to 10 times the national average on some reservations”, said Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director of UNITY.
The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention reports, suicide rates are high among all American Indian and Alaska Native (Native American) populations, with youth being affected most. Forty percent of all Native American suicides involve children and youth ages 15 to 24. And in Native communities, youth suicide contagion is common, where one suicide triggers others attempts, resulting in multiple suicides or attempts within a short time frame.
“We are committed to raising the awareness of this disease which is greatly affecting our Native youth and communities”, said Titla.
What: Join UNITY in a one-minute Moment of Silence to remember Native American youth who have committed suicide.
When: Wednesday, September, 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day; 1:00 pm Pacific; 2:00 pm Mountain; 3:00 pm Central; 4:00 pm Eastern.
UNITY encourages its youth councils and communities to offer a prayer, burn sage or incense, or light a candle in remembrance of Native youth who have committed suicide.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255
Tribal Warm Line: If you need someone to talk to, are feeling down or need help from someone who understands American Indian communities, the Tribal Warm Line is the place to call (AZ residents only). Community members call for a variety of reasons including emotional support, relationship issues, anxiety, depression and referrals to community services/resources. Call 1-855-728-8630