Teen Suicide: Pine Ridge Reservation cover

Teen Suicide: Pine Ridge Reservation

By


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Tragically, this statistic has proven to be far worse on many Native American reservations throughout North America. Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the second largest reservation in the nation, is considered home to nearly 29,000 Lakota Sioux Tribe members.
In a recent Huffington Post article, it was found that nearly 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded on Pine Ridge Reservation between 2004 and 2013. Greg Yoder, reporter for MNN, stated that tribal officials confirmed nine teens were successful in committing suicide this past year, one being as young as 12 years old.
So what is causing this increase in teen suicide in Pine Ridge?





NoteStream NoteStream

NoteStreams are readable online but they’re even better in the free App!

The NoteStream™ app is for learning about things that interest you: from music to history, to classic literature or cocktails. NoteStreams are truly easy to read on your smartphone—so you can learn more about the world around you and start a fresh conversation.

For a list of all authors on NoteStream, click here.




Read the NoteStream below, or download the app and read it on the go!

Save to App


Teen Suicide: Pine Ridge Reservation

Tragedy

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24.

Tragically, this statistic has proven to be far worse on many Native American reservations throughout North America. Reports founded by Mission Network News have even stated that suicide rates on reservations are 10 times the national average.

No Future

No Future

Deadly Numbers

Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the second largest reservation in the nation, is considered home to nearly 29,000 Lakota Sioux Tribe members.

Nearly 50% of the population in Pine Ridge are children ages 17 and younger. In a recent Huffington Post article, it was found that nearly 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded on Pine Ridge Reservation between 2004 and 2013.

Greg Yoder, reporter for MNN, stated that tribal officials confirmed nine teens were successful in committing suicide this past year, one being as young as 12 years old.

Harsh Way To Live

Harsh Way To Live

Unbearable

So what is causing this increase in teen suicide in Pine Ridge?

Yvonne DeCory, a suicide-prevention outreach worker on Pine Ridge Reservation, explains Lakota Sioux teenagers are turning to suicide to escape the reality of life on the reservation.

“Look around…The economic structure at Pine Ridge isn’t sufficient enough to support the population.”

A number of teenagers on Pine Ridge Reservation are faced with unbearable living conditions and unstable family structures which can sadly result in psychological implications, leading them to take drastic measures such as suicide.

Broken Lives

Broken Lives

@Peta_de_Aztlan

(CC BY 2.0)

Myth

While mental health services in the U.S. have proven to help teenagers with suicidal thoughts, there are very few available on Pine Ridge Reservation.

With only six mental health professionals on the entire Reservation (as noted in a recent New York Times article) it is obvious that there is a strong need for mental health services on Pine Ridge.

A widespread myth is that the American government makes provisions for adequate healthcare. The reality is that the U.S. government provides very little medical assistance, making it difficult to address the health needs of the Lakota Sioux community. Medical facilities are outdated, lack basic medical equipment, and are often so far away that many residents live without any medical attention.

Epidemic

What was once seen as a problem on Pine Ridge Reservation has now become an epidemic.

With much to be done in Pine Ridge, it’s people like YOU who can help make the difference between life and death for Lakota Sioux teens. Join True Sioux Hope Foundation in raising awareness of the conditions in Pine Ridge and help create new opportunities to make an impactful change for a brighter future.