Skip Navigation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of Minority Health

Office of Minority Health (OMH) Logo

Mental and Behavioral Health - American Indians/Alaska Natives

  • In 2019, 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 60 percent more likely to experience the feeling that everything is an effort, all or most of the time, as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
  • The overall death rate from suicide for American Indian/Alaska Native adults is about 20 percent higher as compared to the non-Hispanic white population.
  • In 2019, adolescent American Indian/Alaska Native females, ages 15-19, had a death rate that was five times higher than non-Hispanic white females in the same age group.
  • In 2018, American Indian/Alaska Native males, ages 15-24, had a death rate that was twice that of non-Hispanic white males in the same age group.
  • Violent deaths, unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide, account for 75 percent of all mortality in the second decade of life for American Indian/Alaska Natives.2

MENTAL HEALTH STATUS

Serious psychological distress in the past year among adults 18 years of age and over, percentage, 2019
American Indian/Alaska Native*
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
11.6
12.7
0.9

Source: SAMHSA, 2020. Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Detailed Tables. Table 10.43B
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2019-nsduh-detailed-tables [PDF | 10.22MB]


Percentage of population with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or that everything is an effort, all or most of the time, among persons 18 years of age and over, 2018
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Sadness
--
2.6
--
Hopelessness
--
2.2
--
Worthlessness
3.4
2.3
1.5
Everything is an effort
10.5
6.6
1.6

Source: CDC 2021. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2018. Table A-7.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm


Percentage of population with serious psychological distress among persons 18 years of age and over, 2018
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Total
4.5
3.8
1.2

Source: CDC 2021. Summary Health Statistics: National Health Interview Survey: 2018. Table A-8.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs/tables.htm

DEATH RATES

Age-adjusted death rates for suicide, by sex, race and Hispanic origin, 2018
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native /Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
33.6
28.6
1.2
Female
11.1
8.0
1.4
Total
22.3
18.1
1.2

Source: CDC 2021. National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 69, No. 13. Table 10.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/nvsr69-13-508.pdf [PDF | 2MB]


Death rates for suicide, age, race and Hispanic origin, 2018: Men
 
American Indian/Alaska Native Men
Non-Hispanic White Men
American Indian/Alaska Native Men / Non-Hispanic White Men Ratio
15-24 years
60.7
27.3
2.3
25-44 years
60.2
35.8
1.7
45-64 years
24.5
39.5
0.6
65 years and over
--
38.2
--
All ages
33.6
28.6
1.2

Source: CDC, 2021. Health United States, 2019. Table 9.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2019/009-508.pdf [PDF | 10.22MB]


Death rates for suicide, age, race and Hispanic origin, 2018: Women
 
American Indian/Alaska Native Women
Non-Hispanic White Women
American Indian/Alaska Native Women / Non-Hispanic White Women Ratio
15-24 years
17.4
6.7
2.6
25-44 years
18.6
10.4
1.8
45-64 years
7.8
13.0
0.6
65 years and over
--
6.3
--
All ages
11.1
8.0
1.4

Source: CDC, 2021. Health United States, 2019. Table 9.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2019/009-508.pdf [PDF | 10.22MB]

ADOLESCENTS

Death rates for suicide: ages 15 - 19, 2019
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Male
49.1
18.3
2.7
Female
29.7
5.7
5.2
Total
39.5
12.2
3.2

Source: CDC, 2021. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Accessed 04/21/2021]
https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html


Suicidal ideation among students in grades 9–12, 2019 Percentage of students who seriously considered suicide
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
--
13.8
--
Women
--
24.3
--
Total
34.9
19.1
1.8

Source: CDC 2021. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data.
https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline. [Accessed 04/21/2021]


Suicidal ideation among students in grades 9–12, 2019 Percentage of students who attempted suicide
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
Men
--
4.6
--
Women
--
7.3
--
Total
--
6.1
--

Source: CDC 2021. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data.
https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline. [Accessed 04/21/2021]

ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

Percentage of adults age 18 and over who received mental health services in the past year, 2019
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
13.9
19.8
0.7

SAMHSA, 2020. Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Detailed Tables. Table 8.17B
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2019-nsduh-detailed-tables


Percentage of adults age 18 and over who received prescription medications for mental health services, 2019
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
11.1
16.6
0.7

SAMHSA, 2020. Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Detailed Tables. Table 8.21B
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2019-nsduh-detailed-tables


Percentage of adults age 18 and over with past year major depressive episode who received treatment for the depression, 2019
American Indian/Alaska Native
Non-Hispanic White
American Indian/Alaska Native / Non-Hispanic White Ratio
--
70.2
--

SAMHSA, 2020. Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Detailed Tables. Table 8.39B
https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2019-nsduh-detailed-tables

*All data in the above surveys relate to non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives.


1CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). [Accessed 04/21/2021]. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

2U.S. Surgeon General, 2001. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44251

5/19/2021 10:48:00 AM