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Suicide Prevention Conference Designed to Change Statistics 

Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Suicide crosses all cultures, ethnic groups and races, social circles and financial statuses.

It is estimated that one in every six individuals contemplates suicide some time in their life. This number is significantly higher in young adults aged 15 to 19 years old, where suicide is the second leading cause of death. A recent study revealed that many more middle-school aged children are now attempting suicide to cope with the many social, school and family dynamics they are dealing with on a regular, if not daily, basis.

The United Health Foundation reports that nationally, the suicide rate has increased by 25.4 percent from 1999 to 2016, with nearly every state in the U.S. experiencing increases during the period.

Arizona ranks eighth in the nation for death by suicide; Montana has the highest incidence per capita and New Jersey has the lowest. In 2017, Arizona averaged 18 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. Nearly four Arizonans a day died by suicide in 2017, that’s more than the number of people who died from motor vehicle crashes.

Suicide is also a leading cause of death in Northern Arizona. Recent data shows Coconino County’s rate was 23.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 people and Navajo County’s rate was 28.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.

Within Arizona’s Native American population, the rates are much higher than in the general population. The Navajo Nation has the highest rate of suicide among all the Native American tribes in Arizona, with suicide as the second-leading cause of death for Native American youth ages 10 to 25, behind unintentional injuries. Nationwide, Native American males have the highest suicide rate in the U.S., with 32.8 suicides per 100,000. 

More painful numbers: 

In the U.S.: It is estimated that one in 20 individuals contemplate suicide sometime in their lives; this number is significantly higher in our young people aged 10 to 19 years old where suicide is the second-leading cause of death.

In Coconino County: In 2016, among the suicides of individuals under 25 years old, half of them were among Native American youth. 

In Coconino County: The rate of suicide is five times the rate of homicides; suicide is the sixth-leading cause of death of all reported deaths and the second-leading cause of death among 20- to 44-year-olds. 

In Coconino County: Between 2010 and 2016, an average of 26 people committed suicide each year and nearly 1,800 hospital-related visits occurred, with the highest number reported each September. 

The subject of suicide carries the stigmas of depression, mental illness and death. Most people don’t know how to talk about it, much less how to help someone they fear may be contemplating suicide or is a suicide risk. One of the best things to do is learn to recognize the warning signs of someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. NACA offers free suicide prevention training.

Native Americans for Community Action, Inc. – NACA’s – Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is sponsoring the seventh annual Northern Arizona Suicide Prevention Conference in Flagstaff on June 27 and 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The theme this year is “Becoming Trauma Informed.”

The free conference aims to educate parents, youth and providers in the community about the issue of suicide and trauma as public health concerns, and to introduce individuals, families and communities to tools to help prevent suicide and to deal with the after effect of suicide in a family or in schools. 

This year’s conference will include national and local speakers whose topics and presentations will likely resonate with everyone in attendance. These experts come from a vast array of perspectives and experiences, and bring a wealth of knowledge and insight related to the wide impact of trauma, suicide and the hope suicide prevention provides. Presentations include lived experience, historical trauma, cultural preservation, ethical and legal issues, bullying, resiliency and more. 

Although the conference is free, pre-registration is required by going to eventbright.com and searching for Reach UR Life. One ticket may be reserved per person; no group registrations are accepted. For more information, call NACA’s Reach UR Life Program at 928-526-2968. 

Additional NACA-Sponsored Free Suicide Prevention Training 

NACA’s Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is dedicated to identifying and offering support to individuals who are exhibiting signs of, and who are at risk for, suicide. The goal is to provide individuals with the tools and skills they may need to confront a possible suicide by training community members how to identify and possibly intervene with individuals who may be at risk for suicide. 

The safeTALK training is designed to offer hands-on skills to everyone16 years and older and requires no formal training or prior experience in suicide prevention. Those younger than 18 years old must have a signed parent permission form to participate in the training. During the half-day session, participants will learn safeTALK skills that assist individuals in identifying and intervening in the early stages of suicide. This type of knowledge and skill development strengthens the community so those at risk of suicide can be helped before they act on their suicidal thoughts.   

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training or (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone is at risk for suicide and work with that person to create a safe plan that will support immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by gatekeepers, such as clergy, teachers, elders and healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop – anyone 18 or older can learn to use the ASIST model. 

There is no greater way to share your compassion and skills as a community member than to participate in one of the free Suicide Prevention courses that NACA offers each month. Suicide is preventable, and through shared efforts and proper training, we can all help to make it less of an impact within our Northern Arizona’s communities. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to NACA professionals who are trained to help individuals with their needs, by calling 928-526-2968 or, after hours, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you need immediate help, call 911. 

NACA’s Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is funded through the SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention initiative. FBN

NACA embraces a holistic, integrated approach to caring for the whole person. Blending general health and wellness, behavioral health, community services, exercise, nutrition and support groups results in healthier individuals, families and communities. NACA offers integrated care to all people of all cultural backgrounds, which include behavioral health services, lifestyle change classes and a low-cost fitness center, all at the same location. To learn more about all the services and programs NACA offers, visit NACAInc.org or call 928-773-1245. Stay up to date on new services, events and health topics by following NACAandNACA Reach UR Lifeon Facebook. 

Suicide Prevention Conference Designed to Change Statistics 

By Brenda Manthei, NACA 

S

uicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Suicide crosses all cultures, ethnic groups and races, social circles and financial statuses.

It is estimated that one in every six individuals contemplates suicide some time in their life. This number is significantly higher in young adults aged 15 to 19 years old, where suicide is the second leading cause of death. A recent study revealed that many more middle-school aged children are now attempting suicide to cope with the many social, school and family dynamics they are dealing with on a regular, if not daily, basis.

The United Health Foundation reports that nationally, the suicide rate has increased by 25.4 percent from 1999 to 2016, with nearly every state in the U.S. experiencing increases during the period.

Arizona ranks eighth in the nation for death by suicide; Montana has the highest incidence per capita and New Jersey has the lowest. In 2017, Arizona averaged 18 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. Nearly four Arizonans a day died by suicide in 2017, that’s more than the number of people who died from motor vehicle crashes.

Suicide is also a leading cause of death in Northern Arizona. Recent data shows Coconino County’s rate was 23.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 people and Navajo County’s rate was 28.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people.

Within Arizona’s Native American population, the rates are much higher than in the general population. The Navajo Nation has the highest rate of suicide among all the Native American tribes in Arizona, with suicide as the second-leading cause of death for Native American youth ages 10 to 25, behind unintentional injuries. Nationwide, Native American males have the highest suicide rate in the U.S., with 32.8 suicides per 100,000. 

More painful numbers: 

In the U.S.: It is estimated that one in 20 individuals contemplate suicide sometime in their lives; this number is significantly higher in our young people aged 10 to 19 years old where suicide is the second-leading cause of death.

In Coconino County: In 2016, among the suicides of individuals under 25 years old, half of them were among Native American youth. 

In Coconino County: The rate of suicide is five times the rate of homicides; suicide is the sixth-leading cause of death of all reported deaths and the second-leading cause of death among 20- to 44-year-olds. 

In Coconino County: Between 2010 and 2016, an average of 26 people committed suicide each year and nearly 1,800 hospital-related visits occurred, with the highest number reported each September. 

The subject of suicide carries the stigmas of depression, mental illness and death. Most people don’t know how to talk about it, much less how to help someone they fear may be contemplating suicide or is a suicide risk. One of the best things to do is learn to recognize the warning signs of someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. NACA offers free suicide prevention training.

Native Americans for Community Action, Inc. – NACA’s – Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is sponsoring the seventh annual Northern Arizona Suicide Prevention Conference in Flagstaff on June 27 and 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The theme this year is “Becoming Trauma Informed.”

The free conference aims to educate parents, youth and providers in the community about the issue of suicide and trauma as public health concerns, and to introduce individuals, families and communities to tools to help prevent suicide and to deal with the after effect of suicide in a family or in schools. 

This year’s conference will include national and local speakers whose topics and presentations will likely resonate with everyone in attendance. These experts come from a vast array of perspectives and experiences, and bring a wealth of knowledge and insight related to the wide impact of trauma, suicide and the hope suicide prevention provides. Presentations include lived experience, historical trauma, cultural preservation, ethical and legal issues, bullying, resiliency and more. 

Although the conference is free, pre-registration is required by going to eventbright.com and searching for Reach UR Life. One ticket may be reserved per person; no group registrations are accepted. For more information, call NACA’s Reach UR Life Program at 928-526-2968. 

Additional NACA-Sponsored Free Suicide Prevention Training 

NACA’s Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is dedicated to identifying and offering support to individuals who are exhibiting signs of, and who are at risk for, suicide. The goal is to provide individuals with the tools and skills they may need to confront a possible suicide by training community members how to identify and possibly intervene with individuals who may be at risk for suicide. 

The safeTALK training is designed to offer hands-on skills to everyone16 years and older and requires no formal training or prior experience in suicide prevention. Those younger than 18 years old must have a signed parent permission form to participate in the training. During the half-day session, participants will learn safeTALK skills that assist individuals in identifying and intervening in the early stages of suicide. This type of knowledge and skill development strengthens the community so those at risk of suicide can be helped before they act on their suicidal thoughts.   

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training or (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone is at risk for suicide and work with that person to create a safe plan that will support immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by gatekeepers, such as clergy, teachers, elders and healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop – anyone 18 or older can learn to use the ASIST model. 

There is no greater way to share your compassion and skills as a community member than to participate in one of the free Suicide Prevention courses that NACA offers each month. Suicide is preventable, and through shared efforts and proper training, we can all help to make it less of an impact within our Northern Arizona’s communities. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to NACA professionals who are trained to help individuals with their needs, by calling 928-526-2968 or, after hours, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you need immediate help, call 911. 

NACA’s Reach UR Life Suicide Prevention Program is funded through the SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention initiative. FBN

NACA embraces a holistic, integrated approach to caring for the whole person. Blending general health and wellness, behavioral health, community services, exercise, nutrition and support groups results in healthier individuals, families and communities. NACA offers integrated care to all people of all cultural backgrounds, which include behavioral health services, lifestyle change classes and a low-cost fitness center, all at the same location. To learn more about all the services and programs NACA offers, visit NACAInc.org or call 928-773-1245. Stay up to date on new services, events and health topics by following NACAandNACA Reach UR Lifeon Facebook. 

 

Brenda Manthei is the community development director and the Reach UR Life program manager at NACA, Inc. 

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