Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signs proclamation to
recognize the week of Sept. 8-14, 2019 as “Navajo Nation Suicide Prevention Week.”
Published September 11, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation recognizes the week of Sept. 8-14, 2019 as “Navajo Nation Suicide Prevention Week” in accordance with a proclamation previously signed by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10, 2019, and National Suicide Prevention Week.
“The Nez-Lizer Administration has identified behavioral and mental health as a top priority, and the declaration is a step forward in addressing suicide prevention. The Nez-Lizer Administration encourages employees and citizens to be involved, participate, and assist in raising suicide prevention awareness among our Navajo people,” said President Nez.
In support of the suicide prevention initiative, President Nez and Vice President Lizer signed an executive order in January, to continue supporting the “Building Communities of Hope” initiative to empower individuals, families, and communities and to restore hope, self-sufficiency, and determination through comprehensive suicide prevention strategies.
Building Communities of Hope was initiated in November 2015 when President Nez served as the Vice President of the Navajo Nation. The initiative provided services in 82 locations, which included schools, universities, and communities on and off the Navajo Nation.
According to Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services, suicide is the 7th leading cause of death on the Navajo Nation, and American Indian communities experience higher rates of suicide compared to all other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.
“It’s a time to share resources and stories and remember those affected by suicide. As well as to promote awareness and focus efforts on directing treatment, healing, and hope to those who need it most,” said Vice President Lizer.
During the week, the Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services, in partnership with other divisions and departments, will be hosting awareness and education activities throughout the Navajo Nation to promote healthy coping skills, positive protective factors, and community resiliency.
The Office of the President and Vice President recognizes public awareness is key to preventing loss of life by suicide and remains committed to suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
For more information regarding the Navajo Nation Suicide Prevention Week activities, contact the Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral and Mental Services at (928) 810 – 8534. If in an emergency contact the Navajo Nation Police Department at (928) 871 – 6112/6111. If in suicidal crisis or emotional distress call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800) 273 – 8522.