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  • stopping suicide

    I am really mad this week. A young man in our community killed himself and if competent treatment that did not pre-judge a person's actions but instead treated everyone with respect was in place I have to wonder if the outcome would have been different. The Native treatment program has all kinds of PR that says they provide culturally specific treatment and their is some window dressing to make it appear that way. However, the core is the 12 step program and nothing else. Not that I am knocking AA/NA, but it doesn't reach everyone and too many people go out to jails, institutions, and death--as this young man did! Much of the old AA/NA approach is very judgemental if you don't follow the steps to the core. Statements like 'work the step or die mother f**ker', and "don't let the door hit you in the *** on the way out" point to the harsh judgements if you don't do it by the book. Now how many NDN's you know do things by the book!! As a certified therapist I have found that client centered treatment that uses lots of guided caring is the most effective treatment. People begin to feel like they matter then recovery can begin. Not that I don't put in 12 step meetings as a tool but I make sure that folks have choices, and stress that it is the recovery network that is the important thing and a person can find that in any group of people--even in the Pow-wow circuit, which is where my network is. Also, if a person relapses it is important that they are not judged but helped to see what choices they made that led them to the relapse is brought to the surface and then help them make a plan to make different choices. Nonjudgemental guided caring is where it is at in my book and it makes me furious to see a Native program kill what was occuring this last year and as one client recently told me, "we are just being marched around like robots now and no one feels like it is home anymore." I have ranted and roared, and cried till I can't cry anymore. All I have to say is to speak up in your own communities and demand competent services that are truly culturally specific and maybe these suicides and other deaths due to addiction can begin to subside!!!!

  • #2
    we had a discussion in class about suicide and we discussed our theories as to why suicide was so high amongst native people. We looked at the source first -we said that it was either passed down through history, the depression or it was developed through childhood and it was the conditions in which we live that feed those brain waves making them stronger and more consistant than our "jolly thoughts". After we were done we discussed the possible ways to combat it. This is were it got messy and we decided to start a revolution and set up Hoghans and refuse to pay government taxes.lol Suicide is something we dont like to remind ourselves of but it wont go away. I have a theory about death, its what keeps me going. Death is a gift an end to all suffering and a gateway to the next world, but it is a gift that has to be given when the time is right and it would be selfish of me to take this gift deceitfully and against the creators wishes.And I think of all the people I would bestow pain upon and I dont think its fair to do such things. The creator made me and it is not my decision to say whether he did a bad job or not.

    Remeber your humor it will keep us all going.
    ??Aayooish K'ei chah??

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