In 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24. Native American teens, especially boys, commit suicide 2.5 times greater than the national average.

These numbers alone are horrifying!

To bring awareness to the seriousness of this epidemic, we are encouraging everyone to keep American Indian children and teens in their prayers throughout September.

Preventing tragedy

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Staggering suicide numbers in Indian Country have prompted officials on both the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations to declare a state of emergency. Tragically, the epidemic has even been tagged as "Siouxicide".

Unfortunately, Lakota children at St. Joseph’s Indian School are too close to the suicide epidemic for us to address these issues only once a year.

The fact is, children living anywhere near Rosebud or Pine Ridge in recent years have been affected by suicide.

Safe haven

This is why St. Joseph’s Indian School is more important now than ever.

We are a safe-haven for Lakota children in need. Nearly every aspect of our program was designed with at least one suicide prevention component.

Here, Lakota (Sioux) children know they are safe. They are taught the importance of living and learning their culture, while also learning how to cope with the harsh realities of reservation living.

All of St. Joseph’s counselors, teachers, houseparents and support staff are trained to recognize the warning signs of suicidal behavior.

By supporting St. Joseph’s Indian School, you are joining a tiyospaye - extended family - dedicated to helping the children overcome the challenges they face in their young lives.


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