Setting a Course to Protect Indigenous Cultures and Communities in Our National Suicide Prevention Agenda

Stacy Rasmus, Lisa Wexler, James Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


It is now more widely acknowledged within the current fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry that suicide in the United States is more than a mental health problem (Barnhorst et al., 2021, p. 299), that social determinants of health are key drivers of increasing suicide death rates (Dev & Kim, 2021), and that for ethnoracially minoritized youth, structural racism constitutes a key social determinant (Alvarez et al., 2022). In response, the Surgeon General’s office has released a Call to Action (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2021) to fully implement the National Strategy on Suicide Prevention. Addressing upstream factors including social determinants of health is now one of six core National Strategy actions to prevent suicide. These developments represent a recent, and arguably long overdue shift in focus from individual psychopathology as primary driver of suicide behaviors toward recognition of multilevel influences in suicide, and in particular, recognition of the impact of societal level structures and systems on suicide outcomes. This shift follows decades of suicide prevention research in Indigenous communities that has specifically focused on socio-ecological models of risk and protective factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-226
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this article was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (U19MH113138, R01MH112458, R01AA023754).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


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