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South Dakota tribe combats suicide among its youth

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota saw 17 of its youth commit suicide in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, at least seven young people killed themselves.

The high rate has led to efforts to reach out to youth on the reservation. Mary Hayes, who lost her 16-year-old granddaughter to suicide, has opened her home to troubled teens and is organizing trips to keep teens connected to tribal culture. The tribe's Cheyenne River Youth Project will be opening a $2.5 million teen center later this year.

In South Dakota, young Indian men are four times more likely to commit suicide than whites. They are three times more likely to commit suicide than Indians nationwide.

Get the Story:
Tribal residents attempt to curb teen suicides (AP 4/18)

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