Suicide, Resilience, and Connectedness Across the Lifespan: Lessons From American Indian and Alaska Native Elders

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Abstract

Rates of suicide and associated costs are high and increasing in the United States. From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate increased 24%, with the pace of increase being greater since 2006. American Indian and Alaska Native persons have significantly lower rates of suicides than other ethnic groups as elders despite experiencing some of the highest rates during adolescence. This article examines literature pertaining to suicide rates in American Indian and Alaska Native communities and proposes a framework for understanding their lower rates of suicide as elders. Such understanding offers opportunities for developing strategies for suicide prevention across lifespan.

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