Skip Navigation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

Office of Minority Health (OMH) Logo

Print Page A A A
En Español Newsroom Contact Us
 

Mental Health and American Indians/Alaska Natives

  • In 2009, suicide was the second leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Natives between the ages of 10 and 34.1
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives are twice as likely to experience feelings of nervousness or restlessness as compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Violent deaths – unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide – account for 75% of all mortality in the second decade of life for American Indian/Alaska Natives.2
  • While the overall death rate from suicide for American Indian/Alaska Natives is comparable to the White population, adolescent American Indian/Alaska Native females have death rates at almost four times the rate for White females in the same age groups.

 

MENTAL HEALTH STATUS:

Serious psychological distress among adults 18 years of age and over, percent, 2009-2010

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
5.2
3.1
1.7

Source: CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 59.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Percent of population with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or that everything is an effort, all of the time, among persons 18 years of age and over, 2010

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Sadness
2.7
2.8
1.0
Hopelessness
2.0
2.0
1.0
Worthlessness
2.6
1.7
1.5
Everything is an effort
11.0
5.6
2.0

Source:  CDC 2012. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2010. Table 14.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_252.pdf [PDF | 3.1MB]

 

Percent of population with feelings of nervousness or restlessness, among persons 18 years of age and over, 2010

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Nervousness, all or most of time
7.9
4.9
1.6
Restlessness, all or most of time
13.8

2.2

Source:  CDC 2012. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2010. Table 16.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_252.pdf [PDF | 3.1MB]

 

DEATH RATES:

Age-Adjusted Death Rates for suicide, by sex, race and Hispanic Origin, 2009

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native /Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
17.4
23.2
0.8
Female
6.4
6.0
1.1
Total
11.9
14.3
0.8

Source:  CDC, 2012. National Vital Statistic Report. Vol. 60, Num 3 Table 17 and Table 16.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf [PDF | 2MB]

 

Age-adjusted death rates for suicide, by race, 2009

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
White Ratio
11.9
14.3
0.8

Source: CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 24.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Death rates for suicide, age, race and Hispanic origin, 2009: Men

 
American Indian/Alaska Native Men
Non-Hispanic White Men
American Indian/Alaska Native Men/
Non-Hispanic White Men Ratio
15-24 years
36.0
18.9
1.9
25-44 years
24.5
28.8
0.9
45-64 years
17.6
33.7
0.5
65 years and over
-
33.1
-
All ages
17.4
23.2
0.8

Source: CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 39.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

Death rates for suicide, age, race and Hispanic origin, 2009: Women

 
American Indian/Alaska Native Women
Non-Hispanic White Women
American Indian/Alaska Native Women/
Non-Hispanic White Women Ratio
15-24 years
13.4
4.0
3.6
25-44 years
9.2
8.1
1.1
45-64 years
6.7
10.6
0.6
65 years and over
-
4.5
-
All ages
6.4
6.0
1.1

Source:  CDC, 2012. Health United States, 2011. Table 39.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf [PDF | 9.8MB]

 

ADOLESCENTS:

Death rates for suicide: Ages 15 - 19, 2009

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
31.1
14.0
2.2
Female
10.0.7
3.5
2.9
Total
20.7
8.9
2.3

Source:  CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics
Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). [Accessed 07/07/2012].
http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

 

Suicidal ideation among students in grades 9-12, 2009
Percent of students who seriously considered suicide


 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
14.3
12.8
1.1
Women
29.9
18.4
1.6
Total
21.8
15.5
1.4

Source: CDC, 2012. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. [Accessed 07/07/2012]
http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline

 

Suicidal ideation among students in grades 9-12, 2009 Percent of students who attempted suicide

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
10.0
4.6
2.2
Women
19.9
7.9
2.5
Total
14.7
6.2
2.4

Source: CDC, 2012. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. [Accessed 07/07/2012]
http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline

 

ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE:

Percent of Adults who received mental health treatment or counseling in the past year, 2008

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
8.8
10.8
0.8
Female
10.2
20.8
0.5
Total
9.6
16.0
0.6

Source:  2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Table 17_3_1.2a and 2b
http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr10/index.html

 

Percent of Adults who received prescription medications for mental health treatment or counseling, 2008

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
-
9.1
-
Female
8.6
18.3
0.5
Total
7.2
13.9
0.5

Source:  2010 National Healthcare Disparities Report. Table 17_3_3.2a and 2b
http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/nhqr10/index.html

 

NOTE: * Rates based on 20 or fewer deaths may be unstable. Use with caution.


1 CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). [Accessed 07/07/2012]. http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

2 U.S. Surgeon General, 2001. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44251/
Last Modified: 4/13/2016 10:00:00 AM