NESPELEM – The Colville Tribal Native Connections Program will host multiple public awareness events as part of a Suicide Awareness Week, Sep. 9 through Sep. 13 at the Lucy F. Covington Government Center in Nespelem.

In a broadcast email to tribal employees announcing the schedule of events, the program wrote: “We look forward to destigmatizing the topic and bringing hope to our communities with all of you next week.”

A weekly schedule includes, with descriptions provided in the email:

Mirror Monday: “What messages are you telling yourself when you look in the mirror? Choose your thoughts, challenge your beliefs and practice daily.”

National Suicide Awareness Day Tuesday Color Campaign: “Wear your turquoise and purple to help eliminate stigma and show your support.”

Wellness Walk Wednesday: “Join us for a poker walk outside between noon and 1 p.m. Prizes for best hand.”

Thoughtful Thursday: Tribal Behavioral Health will have a calming Sound Bath Meditation in the Auditorium for all to enjoy during the lunch hour only.”

Flag Football Friday… Battle of the CCT Programs: “If your program top dog when it comes to flag football? Enter with Greg Marris by Thursday.”

According to the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Indian Country’s youth of ages 15 to 24, and the rate of suicide for those tribal members is 2.5 times the national rate. Following a rash of suicides in 2013 and again in 2018, CBC declared a state of emergency on the Colville Reservation due to suicide.

The week of Sep. 8 through Sep. 14 is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s National Suicide Prevention Week, an annual informational campaign.

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