Native Americans and Alaska Natives
Depression and suicide affect people of all ages and populations, but Native American and Alaska Native populations can be at a higher risk due to historical trauma, adverse childhood experiences, and lack of connection to necessary resources. If you’re struggling, the Lifeline is available to help, 24/7.
How To Take Care Of Yourself
If you are struggling, there are ways to cope right now. You can also call the Lifeline at any time -- we're free, confidential, and 24/7.
Build your support network. Having a sense of belonging to one’s culture, or a strong tribal/spiritual bond can be helpful. Discuss problems with family or friends — feeling connected to others can create positive emotional health.
Make a safety plan. Have a step-by-step plan ready for if/when you feel depressed, suicidal, or in crisis, so you can start at step one and continue through the steps until you feel safe.
Talk to someone. Reach out to your support network, find a therapist or a support group, or get in touch with the Lifeline.
Find an activity you enjoy. Taking care of yourself can be an important part of your process. Your “self-care” activities can be anything that makes you feel good about yourself.
How To Help
Know the facts. Complex, interrelated factors contribute to suicide among AI/AN people. Members of the Native community have experienced trauma from wars, loss of land, and forced removal from ancestral lands. There are also instances of ongoing poverty in the community, and higher levels of alcohol and substance use.
Ask and listen. Be an active part of your loved ones’ support systems and check in with them often. If they show any warning signs for suicide, be direct. Tell them it’s OK to talk about suicidal feelings. Practice active listening techniques and let them talk without judgment.
Get them help and take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to get your loved one the help they might need. Helping a loved one through a crisis is never easy. You might want to talk about your feelings with another friend or a counselor. The Lifeline is always here to talk or chat.
Get in touch
Call the Lifeline
Call the Lifeline anytime, 24/7988
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