2013 Champion for Change, Joaquin Gallegos, was recently interviewed for a PBS NewsHour article on youth suicide in Indian Country. In the article, Joaquin describes his personal connection to suicide and advocates for better access to healthcare – including mental health services. He concluded the article by saying: “It’s hard to focus on something when there are so many other tragedies occurring around you,” he said. “This one should take precedence because it involves the future of the tribal nation.”
Below is an excerpt from the article:
Among people age 18 to 24 nationwide, the suicide rate is 12.8 deaths per 100,000, and is the second leading cause of death for people between 15- and 24-years-old, the CDC reported. Among all racial and ethnic groups studied, men at this age were far more likely than women to commit suicide. Within the American Indian and Alaskan Native population that age, the rate nearly doubles to 22.5 deaths per 100,000, according to CDC data from 2012 to 2013 released today.
And these numbers are likely higher in the American Indian community where deaths overall are underreported by as much as 30 percent, previous studies revealed. That may be due to an official misidentifying a person’s racial or ethnic identity at the time of their death, or that person may have self-identified as another race.
To read the full article, click here.