September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Many organizations, groups, and individuals are organizing to strengthen suicide prevention efforts by elevating awareness, sharing resources, connecting with folks impacted by suicide, and referring individuals to treatment services.
Red Earth Running Co. (RERC) will be kicking off Suicide Prevention Month by joining the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes for a drug/alcohol awareness and suicide prevention event on Friday, September 1 from 2-8PM. The free public event will feature several activities including an awareness walk/run, raffles, dinner, and comedy by Don Burnstick. RERC founder, Dirk Whitebreast, will be on site to share his story about how the loss of his younger sister to suicide propelled him to take up running.
Suicide impacts many people -- it does not discriminate by age, income, gender or cultural background. More than 41,000 people in the United States (US) die by suicide each year. Information about suicide among Native populations is inexact and rates vary widely between communities and tribes. Available statistics, however, do show the suicide rate for Native people of all ages as much higher than the overall rate in the US.
For additional information on data, action steps, promising programs, and resources about suicide prevention that draw upon strengths and cultural tradition within Native communities visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. If you or someone you know is in need of suicide prevention help, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to chat or call 1-800-273-TALK(8255). If the situation is an emergency, call 911 immediately.