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Am J Public Health. 2009 Oct;99(10):1840-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.154880. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Toward understanding suicide among youths: results from the White Mountain Apache tribally mandated suicide surveillance system, 2001-2006.

Author information

1
Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, 621 N Washington St., Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. bmullany@jhsph.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined suicide and suicide attempt rates, patterns, and risk factors among White Mountain Apache youths (aged < 25 years) from 2001 to 2006 as the first phase of a community-based participatory research process to design and evaluate suicide prevention interventions.

METHODS:

Apache paraprofessionals gathered data as part of a tribally mandated suicide surveillance system. We compared findings to other North American populations.

RESULTS:

Between 2001 and 2006, 61% of Apache suicides occurred among youths younger than 25 years. Annual rates among those aged 15 to 24 years were highest: 128.5 per 100 000, 13 times the US all-races rate and 7 times the American Indian and Alaska Native rate. The annual suicide attempt incidence rate in this age group was 3.5%. The male-to-female ratio was 5:1 for suicide and approximately 1:1 for suicide attempts. Hanging was the most common suicide method, and third most common attempt method. The most frequently cited attempt precipitants were family or intimate partner conflict.

CONCLUSIONS:

An innovative tribal surveillance system identified high suicide and attempt rates and unique patterns and risk factors of suicidal behavior among Apache youths. Findings are guiding targeted suicide prevention programs.

PMID:
19696377
PMCID:
PMC2741522
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2008.154880
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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