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Sen. Johnson asks IHS about youth suicide

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) is asking the Indian Health Service to focus more efforts on preventing youth suicide.

Johnson cited the high rate of suicide among American Indian and Alaska Native youth. South Dakota has a rate three times the national average, he said.

"While I understand your agency cannot fix many of the hopeless conditions that face our native youth, your agency can do more to provide mental health resources to our reservations," Johnson wrote to IHS acting director Robert McSwain.

The letter includes four questions about mental health providers and mental health/behavioral health technicians in the Northern Plains, data collection, the Commissioned Corps and "on call" mental health providers from FEMA. A copy can be found here.

Get the Story:
Johnson takes aim at Indian youth suicides (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 11/19)

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service -