Evaluating the effectiveness of suicide prevention gatekeeper trainings as part of an American Indian/Alaska Native youth suicide prevention program

According to the Centers for Disease Control suicide rates in 2022 for American Indian/Alaska Native youth are 2.5 times higher than the national average. An Urban Indian Health Organization’s response to this crisis was to provide community and State-wide Gatekeeper trainings between 2012 and 2019 to teach trainees (N = 810) to respond appropriately to youth at-risk of […]

The association between resiliency factors and suicide indicators among American Indian/Alaska Native middle school students in New Mexico: A strength-based analysis

Objective: Suicide is a leading cause of death among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people aged 10-19 years in the United States, but data collection and reporting in this population are lacking. We examined results of an oversample project in New Mexico to determine the association between resiliency factors and suicide-related behaviors among AI/AN middle […]

Strengths-based assessment for suicide prevention: Reasons for life as a protective factor from Yup’ik Alaska native youth suicide

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and within the Alaska Native youth subpopulation, the leading cause of death. In response to this public health crisis, American Indian and Alaska Native communities have created strategies to protect their young people by building resilience using localized Indigenous well-being […]

Suicide and the opioid overdose crisis among American Indian and Alaska Natives: A storm on two fronts demanding swift action

The opioid crisis in the United States has received national attention and critical resources in the past decade. However, what has been overlooked is the effect the opioid crisis may be having on a three-decade suicide crisis among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities that already have too few resources to address behavioral and […]

Protective factors as a unifying framework for strength-based intervention and culturally responsive American Indian and Alaska Native suicide prevention

The ongoing challenge of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) youth suicide is a public health crisis of relatively recent historical origin inadequately addressed by contemporary prevention science. A promising development in AIAN suicide prevention highlights the role of protective factors. A protective factor framework adopts a social ecological perspective and community-level intervention paradigm. Emphasis […]

Healers need healing too: Results from the Good Road of Life training

Mental health professionals that work with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations are often viewed as ineffective because their professional training is based on a Western model of service delivery that is an extension of Western colonization. Research on effective training approaches for AI/AN mental health providers or mental health professionals that work with […]

Beliefs about causal factors for suicide in rural Alaska Native communities and recommendations for prevention

Rural Indigenous communities in Alaska suffer staggeringly high rates of suicide. In close-knit Alaska Native villages, each suicide leaves a trail of affected family and community members in its wake. This research aimed to understand community perceptions of what causes suicide in rural Alaska Native villages and generate recommendations for prevention strategies. In-depth interviews were […]

A culturally informed approach to American Indian/Alaska Native youth suicide prevention. In N. Zane, G. Bernal, & F. T. L. Leong (Eds.). Evidence-based psychological practice with ethnic minorities: Culturally informed research and clinical strategies

According to scholarly accounts, suicide has disproportionately affected the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population for well over half a century. Since the introduction of the Garrett Lee Smith Act of 2004, various forms of evidence-based intervention (EBI) efforts within AI/AN communities have attempted to combat this devastating epidemic. Though well-intentioned and scientifically sound, these interventions […]

Multi-level cultural intervention for the prevention of suicide and alcohol use risk with Alaska Native youth: A non-randomized comparison of treatment intensity

Suicide and alcohol use disorders are primary determinants of health disparity among Alaska Native people in contrast to the US general population. Qungasvik, a Yup’ik word for toolbox, is a strengths-based, multi-level, community/cultural intervention for rural Yup’ik youth ages 12-18. The intervention uses “culture as intervention” to promote reasons for life and sobriety in young […]