Suicide Alert

On a number of Native American reservations the suicide rate is unusually high. That is especially true on the Rosebud Reservation in south central South Dakota. In 2007—at the height of an ongoing suicide epidemic—the number of deaths by suicide on Rosebud was roughly 13 times the national average, making it the highest in the world. To help address this crisis, St. Francis Mission, a Jesuit ministry on this Lakota reservation, has started a suicide and crisis hotline. For Geraldine Provencial, its director, the work has a strong personal motivation: “I lost a sister to suicide, a brother to suicide and my grandson’s mother to suicide, which has resulted in my taking care of my grandson today, who is 11 years old. He is my inspiration.” Not having had support when she herself had to deal with these suicides is what spurs Provencial today to reach out to others on the reservation who are experiencing these difficulties.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

I have found myself for the first time truly afraid of what it means to ask and to allow my children to be part of the church.
Kerry WeberAugust 15, 2018
Cardinal William H. Keeler in May 2009. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) 
A Pennsylvania report accuses Keeler of covering up sexual abuse allegations while serving as bishop of Harrisburg.
Associated PressAugust 15, 2018
With her appeal to emotion, Gadsby reminds audiences to see the vulnerable, resilient human being behind the humiliated stand-up comic.
Allyson EscobarAugust 15, 2018
Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and Deacon Bernie Nojadera, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection, are pictured during the 2017 Catholic convocation in Orlando, Fla.  (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
“Our first job is to listen, to be empathetic,” said Deacon Bernie Nojadera, the executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for the Protection of Children and Young People.