Native Americans and Alaskan Natives
How To Take Care Of Yourself
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.
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.
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.