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988 California Tribal Summit hosted by Didi Hirsch in the Cabazon

The summit will bring awareness to suicide, suicide prevention, and mental health.

"Suicide disproportionately affects American Indians and Alaskan Natives; we have the highest rate of suicide," says Charles Martin, Tribal Chairman of Morongo Band of Mission Indians. "Among migration, both racial and ethnic groups in the United States. These rates have steadily increased over the last 20 years and may be linked to several issues."

Representatives from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shared the history of 988 Suicide and Lifeline center and access to care. Local tribes are bringing some of the crisis centers into one room to discuss with who they can partner with Mental health crisis centers.

There are 13 Crisis Centers in the state of California. A SAMHSA representative says that they are finding ways to partner with all 110 tribes in California and training counselors who are culturally aware. Some tribal members are concerned about engagement with urban areas and their tribal communities. When calling 988, they do not require demographics, so they have no data on who is calling. The SAMHSA representatives are saying that they need to find out ways to attain usable data so they can pinpoint the needs of a community or individual.

SAMHSA does have a chat system. During the chat survey, they are able to collect data by age, sex, and sometimes demographics that are voluntarily given, but they say their data is limited.

SAMHSA representatives educated the people on when to call 911 - Fire or medical emergency. They say 911 is focused on dispatch. When to call 988 - They will speak to a counselor and say that counselors normally de-escalate the crisis, but the person who called does not need someone to come out to them.

The summit is held at the Morongo Casino in the city of Cabazon.

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.


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