Suicide among indigenous peoples: introduction and call to action

Archives of Suicide Research : Official Journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research
Antoon Leenaars


Indigenous people around the world have the highest suicide risk of any identifiable cultural (or ethnic) group. It is a youth epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for action; this special issue of Archives of Suicide Research (ASR) is an attempt to heed this call. Scholars, indigenous and non-indigenous, present data from the Arctic, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and other regions. It is concluded that not only data, but also explanations are needed. Suicide is multi determined. Colonialism and its associated genocide are, however, cited as a common factor. Yet, much greater cooperative international efforts are needed to not only understand, but also predict and control the epidemic.


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