When Arne Vainio set out to write articles on the epidemic of Native youth suicide for Indian Country Today and Indianz.com, he put out a call for names of people who had taken their own lives.
What the Finnish-Ojibwe family medicine practitioner on the Fond du Lac reservation didn't expect was 109 names, including four from one family.
Dr. Arne Vainio sees the effects of poverty, substance abuse, tribes without the resources to provide programs for young people. Factors as far back as the BIA boarding schools and as current as social media contribute to despair that can sometimes drive Native youth to suicide.
But Vainio is in a unique position to see more than one side of the story: his father took his own life when Vainio was four years old.
The Mental Health Week on KUMD was made possible in part by the Human Development Center, Miller-Dwan Foundation and the St. Luke’s Foundation.