Online Program

Translating and implementing a mindfulness-based youth suicide prevention program in a native American community

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Thao Le, PhD, MPH, Family Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Lorann Stallones, MPH, PhD, Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Psychology Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Judy Gobert, Tribal Social Services, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Pablo, MT
Background/Purpose: Native Americans between the ages of 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of any cultural or ethnic group in the U.S., more than twice the national average (CDC, 2012). Purpose of this study is: (1) to translate the empirical evidence around mindfulness as an effective tool to reduce stress by developing and implementing a mindfulness-based youth suicide prevention program that is culturally and developmentally appropriate for three Native American tribes in Montana and (2) to conduct a pilot test of the program in a Native American school. Methods: A community-based participatory research approach was used to translate an existing mindfulness curriculum that included collaboration with Elders, cultural committees, Tribal Council, and other community members who reviewed the curriculum and provided input. Four community members were recruited and trained to serve as mindfulness facilitators. Data collection included process and outcome evaluation measures with 8 youth, ages 15-19, using a pre-posttest design. Results/Outcome: Nine mindfulness modules were developed and implemented, 4 hours/week over 9 weeks. Content analyses of facilitators' personal reflections and youth participants' comments and interviews centered around themes of stewardship and co-creation; individual breakthroughs and challenges, and greater ability to deal with stress. Quantitative analyses revealed promising trends on measures of self-regulation, present moment awareness, impulsivity, and suicidal ideations. Students reported acquiring important skills to deal with stress, and high class satisfaction. Conclusion: The project provides a suicide prevention intervention program that harnesses the values, principles, and wisdom of Native American culture and spirituality that is potentially promising.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe an effective process/model of translating and implementing a program in a Native American community Describe mindfulness and what constitutes a mindfulness-based intervention for youth suicide Explain how mindfulness-based intervention can be used to prevent youth suicide among Native American communities

Keyword(s): Suicide, Native Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of injuries including suicide.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4049.0: Suicide prevention