Wiglesworth Addressing the Research Gap on Supporting Native American Youth Mental Health in the Face of Depression, Self-injury, and Suicide Risk

Headshot of Andrea Wiglesworth

Andrea Wiglesworth was interviewed recently by the Minnesota Daily in their coverage of various resources and support systems available on campus for Suicide Awareness Month. As a part of the Research on Depression, Self-Injury, and Suicide Risk in Adolescents lab, Wiglesworth emphasizes the importance of understanding how researchers can assist youth who are struggling. Wiglesworth’s research primarily focuses on Native American communities, aiming to comprehend how unique stressors within their experiences contribute to higher rates of suicide. She noted that one challenge in suicide prevention is that researchers may not always be asking the right questions, especially in Native communities. According to Wiglesworth, Native American youth are less likely than their white counterparts to report having contemplated suicide when making a suicide attempt. She emphasized the need to provide comprehensive and readily available safety resources to everyone, as individuals may experience stressors that bring on thoughts of suicide at different points in time.

Subsequently, Boyton Health has changed their therapy sessions to “therapy sessions without limits,” with extended hours, allowing students to receive services specific to their needs, and allowing care as a walk-in. These changes have helped to diminish barriers to care. 

Individuals in need of suicide prevention resources can call or text 988 or visit 988Lifeline.org to access help.

Andrea Wiglesworth, graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. 

Composed by Madison Stromberg, communications assistant.

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