American Indians/Alaska Natives
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report – from 1999 to 2004
The suicide rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives was 10.84 per 100,000,
higher than the overall US rate of 10.75.
29 had the highest rate of suicide in the American Indian/Alaska Native population,
20.67 per 100,000.
Suicide ranked as the eighth leading cause of death for American Indians/Alaska
Natives of all ages.
• Suicide ranked as the second leading cause of death for those from age of 10 to 34.
Among American Indian/Alaska Native youth at tending Bureau of Indian Affairs
schools in 2001, 16% had attempted suicide in the 12 months preceding the Youth Risk
From 1999 to 2004, American Indian/Alaska Native males in the 15 to 24 year old age
group had the highest suicide rate, 27.99 per 100,000, compared to white (17.54 per 100,000),
black (12.80 per 100,000), and Asian/Pacific Islander (8.96 per 100,000) males of the same age.
Mental Health Considerations
When compared with other racial and ethnic groups, American Indian/Alaska Native youth
have more serious problems with mental health disorders related to suicide, such as anxiety,
substance abuse, and depression.
Mental health services are not easily accessible to American Indians and Alaska Natives,
o Lack of funding,
o Culturally inappropriate services,
o and mental health professional shortages and high turnover.
For these reasons, Native Americans tend to underutilize mental health services and discontinue therapy.
Ethnic and Cultural Considerations
According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Native Americans
continue to experience higher rates of poverty, poor educational
achievement, substandard housing, and disease.
mission and boarding schools, weakening parental influence, and
undermine tribal unity and have removed many safeguards against
suicide that Native American culture might ordinarily provide.
Based on programs that are adapted for American Indian and Alaska