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Minority Youth Suicide Rates Climb

In the U.S., rates of attempted and completed suicide are highest among Native Americans; White youth traditionally have had higher suicide rates than non-whites, but the gap has been decreasing due to an increase in suicide among African American males. Compared with non-Hispanic youth, Hispanic youth in the U.S. show higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide, but are not disproportionately represented among suicide completers. Acculturation may play a role in explaining the higher rate of attempted suicide among Hispanic adolescents, particularly young Latinas, although recent evidence suggests that the perceived quality of mother-daughter relations may be more predictive of adolescent suicide attempt.

Joe et al., recently conducted the first nationally representative study on the prevalence and psychiatric correlates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among African American and Caribbean black adolescents in the U.S. Consistent with previous studies, data from the National Survey of American Life showed that having a psychiatric disorder, especially an anxiety disorder, and living in the Northeast (compared to the South and West) were strongly associated with attempted suicide and suicidal ideation.

Using data from the Mexican Adolescent Mental Health Survey, Borges and colleagues reported the first representative estimates of the lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation (11.5%), plan (3.9%), and attempted suicide (3.1%) in 12- to 17-year-olds in metropolitan Mexico City. As in previous studies, the presence of one or more mental disorders was closely linked to suicide ideation, plan, and attempt. Among youth with a history of suicidal ideation, only dysthymia was consistently related with making a suicide plan and attempted suicide.

IINII uses a revolutionary Design Thinking process to help your school community gain an understanding of one’s sense of self, as well as developing an understanding of students’ and parents’ values; having an understanding of one’s values matters because research has shown that it is linked to better well-being, less stress, and increased confidence in one’s ability to succeed. IINII has extensive experience in building and using an Indigenous research paradigm.

Understanding students’ values can be developed with culturally sustaining practices that reflect a student’s identity and experience. Particularly helpful is focusing efforts on cultural competence and relevance and providing opportunities for students to practice bridging differences between diverse identities in a safe environment. To learn how you can create a dynamic youth-centered environment that honors the unique values of your students and parents, visit our website at, or contact us at or 1800-507-2502.

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