Alaska Native leaders worried about recent spike in youth suicide

Alaska Native leaders hope to get their communities talking about suicide prevention following the deaths of at least nine young people in the last two months.

The suicides have occurred in a group of villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Nine were young men between the ages of 17 and 22 and one was a teen girl who was 15.

The area is already known for having the highest suicide rate in the state. The recent deaths have raised alarms for tribal leaders.

"There's something different going on this year. Here in Scammon Bay we've had three suicides. Maybe two or three attempts," Brandon Aguchak, the executive director of the tribal council in Scammon Bay , told The Anchorage Daily News.

The tribe asked the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. to send a team to the village to discuss the issue.

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Suicides spike again in Y-K Delta villages (The Anchorage Daily News 7/15)