WASHINGTON D.C. –
U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) hosted an Indian Youth Suicide Prevention Summit on Monday to improve suicide prevention in tribal communities, which have the highest suicide rates in the United States.
Dorgan delivered opening remarks and participated in the roundtable discussion at the Summit, which brought together private organizations, federal agencies and tribal leaders and youth to discuss how to better work together to prevent Indian youth suicide. The goal of the Summit was to engage these stakeholders and lay out a plan for what needs to be done to address the tragic crisis of Indian youth suicide.
“Youth suicide in Indian Country is an urgent and pressing crisis,” Dorgan said. “Our discussion today with tribal leaders and Native youth affected by this tragedy is an effort to improve our work to reduce the rate of teen suicide in Indian country. Building partnerships between Indian Country, federal government and the private sector is critical to developing better strategies and programs for reaching at-risk Native American teens.”
American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest suicide rate in the United States – 70 percent higher than the general population. American Indian and Alaska Native youth suffer the highest rate of suicide of any group in the nation.