Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: From slow suicide to slow healing

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Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross continue their conversation about suicide in Indian Country:
Suicide is not necessarily an isolated event. It is not always, as is often thought, a single incident—a gun, a rope, a jump. These things happen, but these are only part of the story. The spirit of suicide is capable of longevity, of persistence, of gradual distinction. It can be sneaky, subtle, and even subconscious. What I’m talking about is slow death by suicide: the kind of killing that creeps up on us in the form of poor health and bad habits.

Life is not black and white: it is a spectrum. There’s a lot of opportunity to save or revive those in our community who, for whatever reason, are only partially alive—but first we have to understand what that means.

Self-destruction something that we need to acknowledge and stop in order to save ourselves.

In Indigenous North American communities, slow suicide is a common problem, not removable from other prevalent health issues. Alcoholism, drug abuse, obesity, diabetes, improper tobacco use, accidents, and other variables and conditions associated with those account for thousands of deaths every year among Native people. Very often, these deaths are not categorized as suicide. But if we shift the paradigm from a non-Western perspective and move toward an all-encompassing, Indigenized approach, we are able to take a step back, look at the whole picture, and clearly see that in many cases these “other” types of death are, in fact, suicide in disguise.

Get the Story:
Slow Suicide, Slower Healing: Suicide Chronicles, Part 4 (Indian Country Today 10/20)

Related Stories:
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: Defending our kids from suicide (10/8)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: Transforming the spirit of suicide (9/29)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: A conversation about suicide (9/19)

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