Rayna Palone Madero, Quechan tribal member and co-founder of the the Native Cry Outreach Alliance, is challenging everyone in Indian country to stand up for suicide awareness.
Native Cry seeks to prevent Native youth from making life-ending decisions and helps treat depression. The organization aims to build "physical environments where young Warriors can develop positive coping mechanisms" throughout Indian country. Currently Native Cry, which became fully operational on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, opeartes from two buildings in downtown Yuma, Arizona, primarily serving the Quechan and Cocopah communities. The organization hopes to reach all Native Americans.
But first the organization needs signatures to convince Congress to pass the Native American Suicide Prevention Act. The Act aims "to amend section 520E of the Public Health Service act to require States and their designees receiving grants for development or implementation of statewide suicide early intervention and prevention strategies to consult with each Federally recognized Indian tribe, tribal organization, and urban Indian organization in the State.'
Native Cry's petition on Change.org has to date garnered 5,706 signatures toward its goal of 10,000.
Once 10,000 people sign the petition, Rayna Palone Madero today pledged she will walk 10,000 steps to celebrate the signatures and raise awareness of suicide. She asks everyone willing to join in her challenge.
"We are hoping to abolish suicide and slow death rates among these children," stated Rayna's husband Armando Madero Sr., Quechan, on the Change.org petition "Please help us by signing this petition to Congress and help get this bill passed."
Check out Native Cry's gripping public service announcement (PSA) aimed at Natives who are considering taking their own lives.