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Suicide Prevention in South Dakota

P1040559 (1)Medical Mission Sisters advocate for health and wholeness for all individuals. In Eagle Butte, South Dakota, Sister Katherine Baltazar lives among the Lakota tribe, and is active in the youth suicide prevention team. Once unheard of among native peoples, youth suicide is a sad reality today. Since 2012, Sister has worked as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at Cheyenne River Health Center. “My work is to provide healing resources in the form of treatment for those suffering from depression and anxiety,” she says. “Some of the problems underlying the high suicide rate are poverty, the lack of economic opportunities on reservations…and trauma from violence.”

Caption: Sister Katherine Baltazar, right, participated in a Good Friday walk for suicide prevention. During it, prayers were said for the healing of communities, and that they be protected from the tragedies of suicide.