Online Program

Developing a Process to Address Suicide among American Indian/Alaska Native Youth

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sandra Momper, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Amelia Mueller-Williams, MPH, MSW, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Debora Tauiliili, MS, MSW, American Indian Health & Family Services of Southeast Michigan, Inc., Detroit, MI
Ashley Tuomi, DHSc, American Indian Health & Family Services of Southeast Michigan, Inc., Detroit, MI
Nickole Fox, MA, CPC, American Indian Health & Family Services of Southeast Michigan, Inc., Detroit, MI
background:  American Indian Health and Family Services of Michigan developed and implemented a youth suicide prevention program (ages 10-24): entitled the “Manidookewigashkibjigan Sacred Bundle R.E.S.P.E.C.T. project.” Aims were to 1) increase awareness of suicide; 2) train community members/providers to identify, manage and treat at-risk youth; 3) screen to increase identification of at-risk youth; and 4) provide culturally appropriate services.

methods:To ensure that suicide screeners were adequately trained we conducted this project in 4 phases:  1) informed the adult advisory council (AC) of the project and created a youth advisory council (YAC); 2) assessed community awareness/knowledge of suicide; 3) trained community member and provider gatekeepers; and 4) utilized gatekeepers to screen youth.

results: The adult AC was informed of the project and a YAC was formed. Community Readiness Assessment interviews (N= 37) were conducted and informed the community of the prevalence of AI/AN suicides. We trained 246 community members and providers in ASIST, QPR, and safeTALK in preparation for screenings. Individuals trained in ASIST administered The Hope and Wellness Screen which was adapted from the Patient Health Questionaire-9 to include a cultural identity measure, strengths-based questions (YAC recommendation) and a positive title (AC recommendation). In years two and three, 125 youth were screened and at-risk youth referred for services.

conclusions: Community engagement was key to developing a process for screening and referring at-risk AI/AN youth for services as well as gathering much needed AI/AN suicide data. We have obtained funds to replicate this process with Michigan tribes.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process for designing and implementing a community/culturally-based suicide prevention program. List available evidence based trainings for suicide prevention skills. Discuss the utility and importance of community/culturally-based approaches to suicide prevention. Explain the basic social determinants of health that are thought to result in disproportionately high suicide rates among American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

Keyword(s): Suicide, Practice-Based Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a qualified researcher with American Indians as an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians and as a PI, CO-PI and Evaluator on several NIH, NIDA, SAMHSA, and the following grants: University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center, the Curtis Research Center, the Detroit Urban Research Center and the Tobacco Research Network. This speaks to my expertise on this subject as well as overall American Indian health disparities research.
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.