Decreases in suicide deaths and attempts linked to the white mountain apache suicide surveillance and prevention system, 2001-2012

Mary F. Cwik*, Lauren Tingey, Alexandra Maschino, Novalene Goklish, Francene Larzelere-Hinton, John Walkup, Allison Barlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objectives. We evaluated the impact of a comprehensive, multitiered youth suicide prevention program among the White Mountain Apache of Arizona since its implementation in 2006. Methods. Using data from the tribally mandated Celebrating Life surveillance system, we compared the rates, numbers, and characteristics of suicide deaths and attempts from 2007 to 2012 with those from 2001 to 2006. Results.The overall Apache suicide death rates dropped from 40.0 to 24.7 per 100 000 (38.3% decrease), and the rate among those aged 15 to 24 years dropped from 128.5 to 99.0 per 100 000 (23.0% decrease). The annual number of attempts also dropped from 75 (in 2007) to 35 individuals (in 2012). National rates remained relatively stable during this time, at 10 to 13 per 100 000. Conclusions. Although national rates remained stable or increased slightly, the overall Apache suicide death rates dropped following the suicide prevention program. The community surveillance system served a critical role in providing a foundation for prevention programming and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2183-2189
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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