Online Program

Improving capacity to identify youth at risk for suicide in tribal communities and connect them with mental health services

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hailey Reid, MPH, Social and Economic Research and Evaluation, ICF International, New York, NY
Hope Sommerfeldt, MA, Public Health, ICF International, New York, NY
Ye Xu, MPH, Public Health Division, ICF Macro, New York, NY
Lucas Godoy Garraza, MA, Hesp, ICFI, New York, NY
Christine Walrath, PhD, Public Health, ICF International, New York, NY
Richard McKeon, PhD, MPH, Suicide Prevention Branch, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD
Among American Indians and Alaska Natives between the ages of 10 to 24, suicide is the second leading cause of death1. In response to this preventable public health problem, the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (GLSMA) was enacted in 2004 to provide coordination and support for community-based suicide prevention programs for states and tribes nationwide. To improve their ability to identify youth at-risk for suicide and connect them with mental health services, GLSMA-funded tribal communities work locally with schools and other youth serving agencies to create or modify referral protocols and tracking systems. The legislation requires the grantees to submit data from these systems into a national evaluation, including the number of youth identified as at-risk, referrals made and initial services received. This presentation will describe data collected from 25 GLSMA-funded tribal suicide prevention programs. Several models used to collect the data and to connect youth with services will be described during the presentation. Over 3,000 youth aged 10-24 have been identified as at-risk, the majority of whom were referred for either mental or non-mental health services (65.4% n=2,809) and received that service (57.3%, n=1,191). Those who did not receive a referral were typically either already receiving services, or the youth or parent refused the service. These results suggest that with adequate training and technical assistance tribal communities can develop or access data systems to track the identification and referral of youth at risk for suicide, improving capacity to connect youth in crisis with mental health services.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain different models of tracking youth identified as at risk for suicide and monitoring whether recommended mental health services were received. Describe suicide prevention strategies being implemented to improve referral networks in tribal communities throughout the United States.

Keyword(s): American Indians, Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the deputy project director for the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention project evaluation where the data for the presentation will be coming from.
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.