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Suicide called epidemic on Red Lake Reservation

In 2004, 69 teenagers on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota attempted suicide, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Three of those attempts were successful, a mental health technician at the Indian Health Service hospital on the reservation said. In the first few months of 2005, 15 more young people tried to kill themselves.

The high rate has parents, health experts and tribal leaders looking for answers. Some point to poverty, depression and substance abuse.

Maureen Lyons places part of the blame on the Internet. "There's violence on the Internet. I tell other parents to watch their kids' moods after these teenagers go online," she tells the paper. Her daughter, TeAnn Lyons, killed herself last year.

In Minnesota, the suicide among Indians ages 15 to 24 is twice that of any other racial or ethnic group. Nationally, the suicide rate among Indians is three times the average.

Get the Story:
For Red Lake teens, suicide risk is ever-present (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 8/7)

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