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Am J Community Psychol. 2016 Sep;58(1-2):136-49. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12080. Epub 2016 Aug 31.

Urban American Indian Community Perspectives on Resources and Challenges for Youth Suicide Prevention.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. rburrage@umich.edu.
2
School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. rburrage@umich.edu.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
4
School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Abstract

American Indian (AI) youth have some of the highest rates of suicide of any group in the United States, and the majority of AI youth live in urban areas away from tribal communities. As such, understanding the resources available for suicide prevention among urban AI youth is critical, as is understanding the challenges involved in accessing such resources. Pre-existing interview data from 15 self-identified AI community members and staff from an Urban Indian Health Organization were examined to understand existing resources for urban AI youth suicide prevention, as well as related challenges. A thematic analysis was undertaken, resulting in three principal themes around suicide prevention: formal resources, informal resources, and community values and beliefs. Formal resources that meet the needs of AI youth were viewed as largely inaccessible or nonexistent, and youth were seen as more likely to seek help from informal sources. Community values of mutual support were thought to reinforce available informal supports. However, challenges arose in terms of the community's knowledge of and views on discussing suicide, as well as the perceived fit between community values and beliefs and formal prevention models.

KEYWORDS:

American Indians; Culture; Informal supports; Mental health services; Prevention; Suicide

PMID:
27576308
DOI:
10.1002/ajcp.12080
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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