New Mexico Indian Affairs Dept. Partners With ‘Honoring Native Life’ For Suicide Prevention Aid In Tribal Communities

IAD News:

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (IAD) has partnered with Honoring Native Life (HNL) to provide suicide prevention assistance to Tribal communities.

Created in 2011, HNL serves as a clearinghouse for Native American suicide prevention that provides culturally appropriate suicide prevention assistance to the state’s Native American population. HNL is housed at the University of New Mexico Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Division of Community Behavioral Health.

During the 2021 Regular Legislative Session, the IAD was appropriated $150,000 for suicide prevention efforts, particularly with the state’s Indigenous youth. The IAD will work with Honoring Native Life to develop ongoing plans for utilizing this recurring appropriation to benefit Tribal communities and people. Honoring Native Life will provide capacity building training in Tribal communities, host a Tribal youth summit building upon the inaugural Indigenous Youth Council  Summit “Community Resilience Nurturing and Protecting Youth Wellness,” and develop a strategic plan in relation to suicide prevention in Tribal communities.

“The Indian Affairs Department is excited to partner with Honoring Native Life once again. When a crisis occurs in a community, many Tribes may not know how to respond. This funding will help Honoring Native Life provide culturally relevant technical assistance to our Tribal communities when responding to mental health emergencies,” Secretary Lynn Trujillo said.

“Honoring Native Life is proud to partner with IAD to support efforts to build capacity, increase access, and raise awareness about behavioral health services in our Tribal communities.  The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to create both short and long term behavioral health strategies to ensure adequate resources are available to our Tribal Nations and relatives,” Teresa Gomez said, Honoring Native Life.

As part of their ongoing suicide prevention initiative, the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department and Honoring Native Life will be hosting a free virtual Mental Health 101 community night, “The Practice of Self-Care: A Guide to Healing in Native Communities,” Today, Sept. 23, 6-7 p.m. Anyone interested in attending can register here.

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