Editorial: Youth suicide puts focus on Navajo Nation community
"There is no such thing as an easy suicide.

Every time a person takes his or her own life, it has a ripple effect of sorrow on the communities to which he or she belong. These ripples can be particularly devastating if the suicide takes place in a small community or if the victim is young.

Both combined can be a recipe for further tragedy.

This is the situation in which small towns such as Thoreau find themselves. Five teenagers have committed suicide in the town since March and the tragic effect on the community is palpable.

The deaths of so many young people at their own hand reveals that the increasing threat of drugs and crime is leading many young American Indians to feel they have limited prospects in society.

Thankfully, the community and the Navajo Nation have taken notice and are fighting back.

The Nation has declared a medical emergency in the Eastern Navajo Agency so that additional funding and counseling resources can be brought to bear. Courses are being taught for "Mental Health First Aid" in the community, and the Thoreau Crisis Center is open 24 hours a day for walk-in clients in need of assistance.

There also is an increased focus on creating activities for young people in the community. Having activity choices during spare time goes a long way to fighting teen depression."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Suicides put spotlight on small Thoreau (The Farmington Daily Times 7/8)

Related Stories:
Navajo community moves to address suicide among its youth (6/28)
Navajo chapter in New Mexico suffers another youth suicide (5/17)
Indian school in New Mexico reels from string of suicides (4/29)