Exploring binge drinking and drug use among American Indians: Data from adolescent focus groups.

Participants reported substance use most commonly with ÒfamilyÓ and Òfriends,Ó Òat a house,Ó or Òaround the community.Ó Substance use was not confined to a particular time of day, and often occurred Òat school.Ó Commonly endorsed reasons fell into two main categories: Òto avoid problemsÓ or Òto reduce negative feelings,Ó versus Òto be coolÓ or Òto […]

Culturally responsive suicide prevention in indigenous communities: unexamined assumptions and new possibilities.

Indigenous communities have significantly higher rates of suicide than non-Native communities in North America. Prevention and intervention efforts have failed to redress this disparity. One explanation is that these efforts are culturally incongruent for Native communities. Four prevalent assumptions that underpin professional suicide prevention may conflict with local indigenous understandings about suicide. Our experiences in […]

Factors associated with Alaska Native fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors 2001-2009: trends and implications for prevention.

Suicide rates among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people are significantly higher than other ethnic groups in the United States. Not only are there great differences when comparing AI/AN rates and those of other Americans, some tribal groups have very low rates of suicide while other Native communities have much higher rates. Despite […]

Bad medicine: a judge’s struggle for justice in a First Nation’s community.

Early in his career, Judge John Reilly did everything by the book. His jurisdiction included a First Nations community plagued by suicide, addiction, poverty, violence and corruption. He steadily handed out prison sentences with little regard for long-term consequences and even less knowledge as to why crime was so rampant on the reserve in the […]

Mamow Ki-ken-da-ma-win: a Partnership Approach to Child, Youth, Family and Community Wellbeing

Mamow-Sha-way-gi-kay-win: North-South Partnership for Children represents a coalition of individuals & organizations from southern Ontario who have partnered with First Nations communities in 30 remote northern locations. This paper draws on the experiences of the Partnership in the development of a unique approach to improving life conditions of northern First Nations peoples in Ontario. A […]

To Live to see the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults DHHS Publication SMA (10)-4480, CMHS-NSPL-0196

The purpose of this guide is to support American Indian/Alaska Native communities & those who serve them in developing effective, culturally appropriate suicide prevention plans. The guide: 1) explores some of the cultural issues around prevention; 2) describes approaches that respectfully address these issues as part of prevention planning; & 3) provides practical tools & […]

Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (AYSPS): Summative Evaluation

The Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy is an initiative established in response to the Government of Alberta’s Children & Youth Initiatives. This report outlines the results of a summative evaluation conducted in 2007-2008 of 9 initial pilot sites & 7 new sites. The focus was to determine to what degree the Strategy had reached its […]

Protecting Urban American Indian Young People From Suicide

This study examined the likelihood of a past suicide attempt for urban American Indian youth, given salient risk & proective factors. Survey data from 569 urban in-school youths, ages 9-15, was used. Logistic regression determined probabilities of past suicide attempts. For girls, suicidal histories were associated with substance use (risk) & positive mood (protective). For […]

Self-Destructive Behaviors in American Indian and Alaska Native High School Youth

Analysis of responses to 10,251 high school students surveyed in the 1997 National School-Based Youth Risk Survey indicated that American Indian & Alaska Native youths engaged more often in risk behaviours, including attempted suicide, than White or Black youths. The pattern of involvement in risk behaviour was different for youths from the three ethnic groups. […]

Special Study of the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy

This study was intended to inform the renewal process of the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy by providing a general overview of key aspects of the strategy & raising questions to guide future studies. The study explores the relevance, implementation, & success of the strategy as a way to assist First Nations & Inuit […]

Controlling for Known Risk Factors for Suicide in Multivariate Models

In this letter to the editor, the authors comment on an article by Lemstra et al (2009) on suicide ideation in a Saskatchewan Aboriginal population. Kutcher & Szumilas state they have significant concerns about the data analysis, asserting these concerns cast doubt on the interpretation of the results. The reply of Lemstra follows. (15 refs.)

Circle of Strength: a Case Description of Culturally Integrated Suicide Prevention

This article presents the case of an American Indian female at high risk for suicide in an effort to document the potential effectiveness of a college student suicide prevention program designed for Northern Plain American Indian students. The program is integrative & culturally grounded within the medicine wheel, stressing continuity of care through programming & […]

Alcohol and Other Contextual Factors of Suicide in Four Aboriginal Communities of Quebec, Canada

This paper describes the psychosocial & behavioural characteristics of 30 consecutive adult suicides from 4 First Nations communities in Quebec. Psychological autopsies were done with family members. Suicide among this group was overrepresented by young single men. Alcohol intoxication at the time of death was reported for 22 cases in association with rapid acting out […]

An American Indian/Alaska Native Suicide Prevention Hotline: Literature Review and Discussion With Experts

The purpose of this project was to obtain background information related to an American Indian/Alaska Native suicide prevention hotline for youth & adults. A literature review was done & telephone discussions were held with a convenience sample of federal & non-federal respondents working in this area. It was thought such a hotline would be feasible […]

Native Youth Suicide: Behind the Statistics

This article examines how community-level efforts to preserve their cultural past & secure future control of their civic lives is affecting youth suicide in Aboriginal communities in British Columbia.

Suicide in Adolescent American Indians: Preventative Social Work Programs

This literature review examines the demographics of American Indian adolescents who attempt suicide, along with the effects it has on the entire family/community. Various programs used to address individuals, while correlating them to specific use within the American Indian population, are described. The authors look at the effectiveness of the Adolescent Suicide Prevention Project, American […]

Ethnic Differences in Suicidal Ideation and Attempts

This article provides an update on the relationship between ethnicity & suicide ideation & attempts. It reviews the rates of suicide ideation & attempts across ethnic groups in the Untied States as well as the risk factors associated with suicide attempts in each ethnic group. Findings from published studies underscore the need to conduct large […]

Community-Based Suicide Prevention Research in Remote On-Reserve First Nations Communities

This paper outlines the research process, key challenges, & lessons learned in a collaborative University-First Nations suicide prevention project conducted with eight north-western Manitoba First Nations communities. (56 refs.) JA

Mortality of Metis and Registered Indian Adults in Canada: an 11-Year Follow-Up Study

This study describes mortality patterns among Metis & Registered Indian adults, compared with the non-Aboriginal population. The 1991-2001 Canadian census mortality follow-up study tracked mortality among a 15% sample of respondents, aged 25 or older. Age-specific & age-standardized mortality rates & period life tables based on the number of person-years at risk were calculated across […]

A College Suicide Prevention Model for American Indian Students

This article describes the development & preliminary effectiveness of a campus suicide prevention program designed for American Indian students. Using the medicine wheel as a guiding framework, the prevention model integrates communication links between American Indian tribes & prevention program staff, educational & cultural progamming, & spiritiual ceremonies with the larger campus mental health resources […]

Best and Promising Practices in Suicide Bereavement Support Services: a Review of the Literature


Mental Health Promotion as a Prevention and Healing Tool for Issues of Youth Suicide in Canadian Aboriginal Communities

This article discusses the appropriateness of using mental health promotion as a prevention & healing tool for Canadian Aboriginal youth dealing with issues of suicide. Strengths of mental health promotion in the context of this population are reviewed as are the limitations. In response to the analysis, recommendations are proposed that could guide the development […]

A Holistic Response to First Nation Suicide: One Family and Community’s Response

This manual has been written to offer guidance to Aboriginal communities & families who have lost a loved one to suicide. The importance of having appropriate supports & tools in place to offer prompt & effective help to various segments of the community is emphasized. Following an introduction presenting the issues surrounding First Nations suicide, […]