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Tribal members urged to ‘Reach for Life’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 10, 2021

Media Contact: Andrea Gaede, andrea.gaede@state.sd.us, 605.773.5654


Tribal members urged to ‘Reach for Life’

PIERRE – Suicide rates among South Dakota’s Native American population outpace the rate among other races prompting a special call for tribal members to “Reach for Life” on today’s Hope for Life and World Suicide Prevention Day.

“Suicide doesn’t just affect the person who loses their life, but also their family, friends, neighbors and community,” said Department of Tribal Relations Secretary David Flute. “We have to see past the stigma of mental health and suicide to find that there is hope.”

The Reach for Life campaign was created to promote the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.TALK (8255) in tribal communities.

“For those who are struggling, you are not alone,” Flute said. “It only takes one person, one conversation to change the mind of someone contemplating suicide. Be the one to reach out and save a life.”

South Dakota’s American Indian suicide rate was 2.5 times higher than the rate for whites from 2011 to 2020. Males are also more likely than females to take their life by suicide.

The South Dakota Suicide Prevention website, sdsuicideprevention.org, has a number of helpful resources for communities, families and individuals, including some specifically for tribal populations. 

To learn more, visit sdsuicideprevention.org/specific-populations/american-indian/.

If you need help with thoughts of suicide, please call 1.800.273.8255 or send a text to 741741. Help is available 24/7.

Visit SDSuicidePrevention.org and BeThe1SD.com to find resources and learn more on suicide prevention.




South Dakota Suicide Prevention is a partnership seeking to end suicide in South Dakota. Partners include the Department of Social Services, Department of Health, Department of Tribal Relations, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Great Plains Tribal Leader’s Health Board. For more information and to read the South Dakota Suicide Prevention state plan, please visit sdsuicideprevention.org.