Health Officials Fear Pandemic Could Bring Suicide Spike
WOLF POINT, Mont. (AP) — Fallen pine cones covered 16-year-old Leslie Keiser’s fresh grave at the edge of Wolf Point, a small community on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation on the eastern Montana plains.
Leslie, whose father is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, is one of at least two teenagers on the reservation who died by suicide this summer.
A third teen’s death is under investigation, authorities said. In a typical year, Native American youth die by suicide at nearly twice the rate of their white peers in the U.S. Mental health experts worry that the isolation and shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could make things worse.