Year: 2023 Source: Implementation Science Communications. (2023). 4, 1. SIEC No: 20230277
Background Native American youth, primarily living on reservations, suffer the highest burden of suicide of any racial group in the USA. Implementation and sustainability of culturally grounded, evidence-based interventions are needed to address suicide in Native American populations. For nearly 40 years, Montana has ranked at or near the top nationwide for suicide. Fort Peck Tribal leadership declared a state of emergency in 2010 after six suicides and 20 attempts that occurred over a 5-month period. Methods We used a community-based participatory research approach for adapting the Celebrating Life (CL) program with a specific focus on long-term sustainability, which has demonstrated efficacy in addressing suicide with the White Mountain Apache. The aims were to (1) adapt the CL program intake forms through roundtable discussions, (2) conduct asset and resource mapping to identify community and cultural resources to leverage for the CL program within the Fort Peck context, and (3) develop a sustainability plan for CL in Fort Peck through qualitative approaches informed by the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool. Results Roundtable discussions resulted in adapted intake forms that capture variables relevant to the Fort Peck context. Asset mapping identified 13 community assets and 10 cultural resources to incorporate within the CL implementation process. Focus group discussions yielded four key themes that were incorporated into a plan for sustainability: (1) strategic partnerships, (2) long-term funding, (3) communication planning, and (4) workforce planning and engagement. Conclusions This paper outlines an avenue for using culturally adapted tools to design an implementation system driven by community and cultural assets within tribal communities and for integrating program planning for sustainability early in the implementation process.