Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a proclamation on Saturday, recognizing Sept. 5 – 11, 2021, as “Navajo Nation Suicide Prevention Week” to increase suicide awareness and prevention to help Navajo people, including the younger generation, who are struggling in their daily lives. Suicide is a major public concern and remains one of the leading causes of death on the Navajo Nation.
According to the Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services, suicide is the seventh leading cause of death on the Navajo Nation, and American Indian communities experience higher rates of suicide compared to all other racial and ethnic groups in the country.
“Our administration recognizes the mental health needs of many of our people, including our young Navajo people. The COVID-19 pandemic may lead to higher rates of suicide due to many factors, but we have to remain strong for another and provide the support that out people need. We need to keep talking to our loved ones and let them know that they are loved and cared for, especially during this pandemic. Together, we have to do everything we can to help families and young people who suffer from modern-day monsters like depression, suicide, and other mental health issues that often lead to people taking their own lives,” said President Nez.
The proclamation states that Navajo Nation division, departments, and programs will continue to promote resiliency, culture, traditional values, faith and provide public education and direct services to reduce suicides on the Navajo Nation.
“Suicide is a serious public health concern that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. Join the conversation and reach out to those personally affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect to those struggling with mental health issues. Our connection to family, friends, and neighbors is more important than ever to protect each other,” said Vice President Lizer.
The Navajo Nation recognizes public awareness is key to preventing loss of life by suicide and remains committed to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or contact the Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services.