Indigenous suicide rates are well above other groups. What do we do about this?
I work with DBT to help people with high suicidal ideation, high self harm urges and high emotion dysregulation. It is just a small drop in a large bucket but it is all I can do within the resources available.
There are lots of statistics about the terrible crisis this is, for instance in this country
The youth suicide rate was 35.3 per 100,000 youth population: more than 2.5 times higher than that of non- youth (13.4 per 100,000).There were 104 suicide deaths in 2010. This represents an age-standardised rate of 16.0 per 100,000 population.There were 10.4 non- deaths per 100,000 population (age-standardised) in 2010.The age-standardised rate for self-harm hospitalisations in 2010 was the highest since 2001 (83.6 per 100,000 Māori in 2010).The age-standardised rate for non- self-harm hospitalisations dropped markedly (by 28.7%) between 1996 and 2010.
In 2011 the total Māori suicide rate was 1.8 times higher than the non-Māori suicide rate. There were 108 Māori suicide deaths. This represents an age-standardised rate of 16.8 per 100,000 Māori population (compared with 9.1 non-Māori deaths per 100,000 population).
The Māori youth suicide rate for 2011 was 36.4 per 100,000 Māori youth population (compared with 15.1 per 100,000 non-Māori population). This means the Māori youth suicide rate was 2.4 times higher than the equivalent rate for non-Māori youth.
In summary, the subgroups of the New Zealand population with the highest suicide mortality rates in 2011 were males, Māori (compared with non-Māori), male youth (those aged 15–24 years) and those residing in the most deprived (quintile 5) areas. Māori males and Māori youth showed particularly high suicide mortality rates.
The Māori youth suicide rate was 2.8 times the non-Māori youth rate (48.0 per 100,000 Māori youths compared with 17.3 per 100,000 non-Māori youths).Over the 10 years from 2003 to 2012, Māori youth suicide rates have been at least 1.7 times the non-Māori youth suicide rates.Māori had an age-standardised suicide rate of 17.8 per 100,000 Māori, compared with the non-Māori rate of 10.6 per 100,000 non-Māori.In 2012, Māori accounted for nearly 20% (563) of all intentional self-harm hospitalisations.The age-standardised rate for Māori was 85.0 per 100,000 Māori compared with 68.0 per 100,000 non-Māori.Those statistics should make us all feel sick. And indigenous communities around the world suffer the same disproportionate suicide rates, for instance in Canada we have this horrible scenario
Canada's Parliament held an emergency debate Tuesday on the suicide crisis in a remote aboriginal community after 11 people, nine of them minors, attempted suicide over the weekend and more than a dozen youths were overheard making a suicide pact.
Lawmaker Charlie Angus, who represents the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat, said in Parliament that the crisis has shocked the world and people are asking how Canada can leave so many people behind. Attawapiskat, population 2,000, declared a state of emergency Saturday. There have been about 100 suicide attempts since September and at least one death.When minors start trying to kill themselves we are really in the end times and we really have to act to help them.
There is a conference coming up that I am going to attend - the World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference 2016.
Somehow, someway we must create hope and choices for indigenous people thinking suicide is the answer. Somehow we have to do this and creating cultural connection is part of it, creating connections of all types. See you at the conference.