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Mental Health and American Indians/Alaska Natives

  • In 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Natives between the ages of 10 and 34.1
  • In 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Native girls between the ages of 10 and 14.1
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives are 50% more 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, 2013-2014

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
5.4
3.2
1.7

Source: CDC, 2016. Health United States, 2015. Table 46.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf [PDF | 13.03MB]

 

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, 2014

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Sadness
4.4*
2.4
1.8
Hopelessness
2.5*
1.7
1.5
Worthlessness
2.4*
1.5
1.6
Everything is an effort
6.2
5.0
1.2

Source: CDC 2016. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2014. Table A-7.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

Percent of population with feelings of nervousness or restlessness, among persons 18 years of age and over, 2014

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Nervousness, all or most of time
7.4
4.6
1.6
Restlessness, all or most of time
9.2
6.0
1.5

Source: CDC 2016. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2014. Table A-8.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

 

DEATH RATES:

Age-Adjusted Death Rates for suicide, by sex, race and Hispanic Origin, 2013

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native /Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
18.1
25.3
0.7
Female
5.3
7.1
0.7
Total
11.7
15.9
0.7

Source: CDC, 2016. National Vital Statistic Report. Vol. 54, Num 2 Table 17 and Table 16.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf [PDF | 7.31MB]

 

Age-adjusted death rates for suicide, by race, 2014

American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
White Ratio
10.9
16.4
0.7

Source: CDC, 2016. Health United States, 2015. Table 17.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf [PDF | 13.03MB]

 

Death rates for suicide, age, race and Hispanic origin, 2014: Men

 
American Indian/Alaska Native Men
Non-Hispanic White Men
American Indian/Alaska Native Men/
Non-Hispanic White Men Ratio
15-24 years
23.5
22.4
1.0
25-44 years
26.2
31.7
0.8
45-64 years
15.1
37.1
0.4
65 years and over
13.4
36.1
0.4
All ages
16.4
25.8
0.6

Source: CDC, 2016. Health United States, 2015. Table 30.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf [PDF | 13.03MB]

 

Death rates for suicide, age, race and Hispanic origin, 2014: Women

 
American Indian/Alaska Native Women
Non-Hispanic White Women
American Indian/Alaska Native Women/
Non-Hispanic White Women Ratio
15-24 years
9.6
5.4
1.8
25-44 years
9.7
9.8
1.0
45-64 years
--
12.6
--
65 years and over
-
5.8
-
All ages
5.5
7.5
0.7

Source: CDC, 2016. Health United States, 2015. Table 30.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf [PDF | 13.03MB]

 

ADOLESCENTS:

Death rates for suicide: Ages 15 - 19, 2014

 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
31.7
16.6.
1.9
Female
18.2*
4.8
3.8
Total
25.1
10.9
2.3

Source: CDC, 2016. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics
Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). [Accessed 06/20/2016].
http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

 

Suicidal ideation among students in grades 9-12, 2015
Percent of students who seriously considered suicide


 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
--
11.5
--
Women
--
22.8
--
Total
20.9
17.2
1.2

Source: CDC, 2016. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. [Accessed 06/20/2016]
http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline

 

Suicidal ideation among students in grades 9-12, 2015
Percent of students who attempted suicide


 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native/
Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
--
3.7
--
Women
--
9.8
--
Total
15.0
6.8
2.2

Source: CDC, 2016. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. [Accessed 06/20/2016]
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: 7/21/2016 3:43:00 PM