Suicide Prevention Efforts at American Indian Health and Family Services, Inc. Utilizing a Community Based Participatory Research Approach
The American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeast Michigan’s
Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Project, a Garrett Lee Smith State and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention Grant, serves primarily American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth and young adults age 10-24, in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan, in collaboration with State and County Suicide Prevention authorities, through evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions and treatment strategies as well as culturally infused Practice-Based Evidence.
Urban AI/AN youth and young adults ages 10-24 are at higher risk than other racial/ethnic groups, and suffer multiple stressors. The goals of the Manidookewigashkibjigan R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Respecting, Engaging, Supporting, Protecting, Empowering, Connecting and Teaching) are to:
• increase the number of persons in youth serving organizations such as schools, foster care systems, juvenile justice programs, trained to identify and refer youth at risk for suicide
• increase the number of health, mental health, and substance abuse providers trained to assess, manage and treat youth at risk for suicide
• increase the number of youth identified as at risk for suicide
• increase the number of youth at risk for suicide referred for behavioral health care services
• increase the number of youth at risk for suicide who receive behavioral health care services
• increase the promotion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Four measurable outcomes include: 1) Outreach for increased awareness (1400 annually, 4200 total), 2) Training to increase ability of community members and professionals to identify, manage and treat youth at risk (100 annually, 300 total); 3) Screening to increase identification of at-risk youth (100 annually, 300 total), and 4) Treatment measured by an increase of at-risk youth receiving culturally appropriate behavioral health care (50 annually, 150 over 3 years).
To successfully meet these goals and outcomes we plan to implement an approach that includes: 1) Capacity building by training mental health professionals and community members (youth and young adults) in evidence based as well as culturally based practices, 2) outreach to develop collaborative relationships with community members (urban and tribal), educational institutions, and youth serving (Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare) organizations in Southeast Michigan, and 3) create a 5 year sustainability plan for the AIHFS community to ensure the ongoing mental health and well being of our youth.