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South Dakota Tribal Members Urged to 'Reach for Life'
South Dakota Ag Connection - 09/15/2021

Suicide rates among South Dakota's Native American population outpace the rate among other races prompting a special call for tribal members to "Reach for Life" on Hope for Life and World Suicide Prevention Day.

"Suicide doesn't just affect the person who loses their life, but also their family, friends, neighbors and community," said Department of Tribal Relations Secretary David Flute. "We have to see past the stigma of mental health and suicide to find that there is hope."

The Reach for Life campaign was created to promote the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in tribal communities.

"For those who are struggling, you are not alone," Flute said. "It only takes one person, one conversation to change the mind of someone contemplating suicide. Be the one to reach out and save a life."

South Dakota's American Indian suicide rate was 2.5 times higher than the rate for whites from 2011 to 2020. Males are also more likely than females to take their life by suicide.

The South Dakota Suicide Prevention website, sdsuicideprevention.org, has a number of helpful resources for communities, families and individuals, including some specifically for tribal populations.

To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/39dMN0p.

If you need help with thoughts of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or send a text to 741741. Help is available 24/7.

Visit https://sdsuicideprevention.org/ and BeThe1SD.com to find resources and learn more on suicide prevention.

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