Education | Health

NPR: Indian youth turn to media to fight silent epidemic of suicide

"According to government statistics, American Indians are 70 percent more likely to die by suicide than the general population. The high suicide rate has been called a "silent epidemic." But it's silent no more if you cock an ear to the noise coming from a health workshop in Portland. Prevention workers there are hoping teen-generated web videos, music and even a comic book can save lives.

Almost one in four Native American youths has attempted suicide according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 17-year-old Brandon Trejo, who lives on a reservation in eastern Washington, knows a face behind those stats.

"One of my friends, he tried overdosing on a bunch of pills. It didn't work," he recalls. "He ended up going to the hospital and getting stomach pumped."

Trejo was shocked and still doesn't have answers for why it happened."

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Tribal Youth Use Digital Media To Dent 'Silent Epidemic' Of Suicide (NPR 7/18)