The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention added three new task forces to address suicide prevention efforts among high-risk populations. American Indians and Alaska Natives, a community that ranks highest in suicide rates nationwide, will receive “especially needed” assistance, according to Indian Health Services Director Dr. Yvette Roubideaux.
Other highly susceptible populations include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth; and military service members and veterans, reported the Action Alliance.
The American Indian and Alaska Native task force will be lead by Roubideaux, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, and McClellan Hall, executive director of the National Indian Youth Leadership Project.
“As our new task forces begin their important work to end the rising number of suicides in some segments of American society, I believe we can make a significant difference,” Roubideaux told the Action Alliance.
The specialty task force along with the Indian Health Care Improvement Act — part of a major health care overhaul authorized by President Obama on March 23, 2010 — will provide more effective preventive care by boosting mental health resources and addressing physician recruitment and retainment throughout reservations. The task force and act will pay high attention to the epidemic of teen suicide, in addition to improving treatment for diabetes, reported the Associated Press.