Outcome evaluation of a public health approach to suicide prevention in an american Indian tribal nation

Am J Public Health. 2005 Jul;95(7):1238-44. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.040410. Epub 2005 Jun 2.


Objectives: We evaluated the efficacy of 15 years of a public health-oriented suicidal-behavior prevention program among youths living on an American Indian reservation.

Methods: All suicides, suicide attempts, and suicidal gestures were monitored. Age-specific analyses over time were used to assess outcomes.

Results: Both descriptive and linear regression analyses indicated that a substantial drop occurred in suicidal gestures and attempts. Suicide deaths neither declined significantly nor increased, although the total number of self-destructive acts declined by 73% (P=.001).

Conclusions: Data from this community-based approach document a remarkable downward trend-measured by both magnitude and temporal trends in the specifically targeted age cohorts-in suicidal acts. The sequential decrease in age-specific rates of suicide attempts and gestures is indicative of the program's success.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • New Mexico
  • Public Health*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology*
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / prevention & control
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide Prevention*