Mescalero chat lines
He wished the tribe would build places where young people could hang out and have fun. “I am also from a new generation of young men and women who believe in breaking the silence and seeking help,” Mangas told the committee.“I believe in change.” Almost five years later, Mangas is still waiting.Employed part-time by Systems of Care – just a stone’s throw from the squat Indian Health Services hospital that serves the reservation—he works with young people and their parents, talking about coping skills, drugs and alcohol, and suicide prevention.His work there isn’t funded by the tribe, but through a federal grant and the University of New Mexico.New Mexico in Depth’s analysis suggests something else, too: both databases underestimate the true number of Native lives lost to suicide.But without better data collection, no one can know the true extent of the problem – and young Native people across New Mexico will continue to die.
That spring, Mangas was one of several Native speakers to appear during a hearing of the U. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where he ticked off name after name of those who had died during his 16 years.
On the Navajo Nation, which crosses four state borders, that means sometimes New Mexico might investigate deaths in Arizona.
Even when tribal investigators ask OMI for help, families do not always cooperate.
Today is such a time, some say, as Native American youth in New Mexico are dying by suicide at an alarming rate. As a Ruidoso High School sophomore in 2010, he spoke against the silence and the stigma that surrounds youth suicide.
In the two years previous, groups of teens on the Navajo Nation and the Mescalero Apache reservation had died by suicide, news that made headlines.