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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 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/


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Content Last Modified: 12/5/2012 9:16:00 AM
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