As part of the Suicide Prevention Program, IHS has announced 118 awards of more than $13 million to prevent methamphetamine use and suicide in AI/AN communities.
Fed Pract. 2015 November;32(11):e8
Despite the strengths of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) families and communities, IHS says, suicide remains a devastating and all-too-frequent event. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the AI/AN community across all ages; the AI/AN youth suicide rate is more than twice that of the national average.
The IHS Suicide Prevention Program is intended to help create a “safety net” of interconnected programming—health, education, law enforcement, public health and well-being, economic development, and physical and behavioral health—to maximize effectiveness of services and protect against suicide risk. As part of that effort, IHS has announced 118 awards of more than $13 million to prevent methamphetamine use and suicide in AI/AN communities.
The awards build on a recently completed, nationally coordinated 6-year pilot project that funded 130 health programs through the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI), which promotes the use and development of evidence-based and practice-based models that represent culturally appropriate prevention and treatment approaches. During the first 5 years of the pilot program, MSPI provided treatment services for more than 9,000 individuals and trained more than 13,000 professionals and community members in suicide crisis response.
The National Congress of American Indians (the oldest and largest national organization of AI/AN tribal governments) has also called for a Native Hope for Life Day, or Suicide Prevention Awareness Day.