New support for the Center’s Southwest Hub for American Indian Youth Suicide Prevention Research

Tackle opioids, investigate cost-effectiveness of prevention, and leverage mobile platforms

Theme(s):
Mental Health

The Center is one of three national organizations awarded a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to form a regional hub to advance best practices to prevent suicide among Native American youth. We are focused in the Southwest region and are partnering with the White Mountain Apache, Navajo Nation, Cherokee Nation, Hualapai Tribe, and San Carlos Apache Tribe.

The White Mountain Apache Tribe is providing key leadership to share their evidence-based tribally mandated surveillance and case management system with other tribal partners while continuing to build and evaluate prevention interventions serving youth identified by the surveillance system. 

This September, the Southwest Hub received supplemental funds from NIMH to expand the scope of work to analyze the role of opioids in suicide, to investigate the cost-effectiveness of preventing suicidal behavioral, and the use mobile applications to aid surveillance and case management.. 

  • Understanding the role of opioids: Native Americans are among the most harmed by the opioid epidemic but are often left out of the conversation. Opioid use disorder has been shown to increase an individual’s risk of suicide by more than 13 times. The Hub will study the role opioids play in suicidal behavior. Findings from the analysis could help address these twin public health crises. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: The Hub is also analyzing the costs of effective suicide prevention and case management and the return on this investment. There are considerable financial costs currently borne by communities who suffer high rates of suicide, such as emergency room care and lost productivity. The cost-effectiveness results could help mobilize additional public health resources.
  • A guide for Native American communities: Tribes are increasingly producing and evaluating indigenous or culturally adapted, multi-tiered suicide prevention strategies. With support from the Casey Family Foundation, the Center will produce a guide for tribal leaders on best practices to address youth and young adult suicide.
  • Leveraging mobile platforms: New funding will continue to support the development of mobile-based care applications that community mental health workers can use to improve identification of young people at greatest risk. 
  • From the Southwest to the Great Plains: Teresa Brockie, PhD, MSN, a member of the White Clay Nation (A’ananin), faculty member in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Associate Faculty with the Center was awarded a supplemental grant from NIMH to explore how to adapt the surveillance and case management system developed by the White Mountain Apache-JHU partners with tribal communities in Montana.

Learn more about the Southwest Hub for American Indian Youth Suicide Prevention Research

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