The Native Village of Tyonek (NVT), a federally recognized tribe in Alaska, will serve a population of 373 community members an other residents in the area by expanding services to address suicide and substance abuse among young people. The NVT Native Connections Team will engage with the Tribal Youth and Elders to identify urgent or emerging substance use issues; identify project strengths and resources; assess community needs and resources; identify gaps in services; and coordinate available resources and programs. The NVT Behavioral Health Aide will additionally facilitate a plan of action to provide integrated behavioral health screenings to youth ages 24 and younger in primary care settings at Indian Creek Health Center; link youth and to teach Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR), safeTALK and ASIST Suicide Prevention and Intervention; and provide referrals to Learning Circles to local community youth-serving organizations. This work will be sustained and advised by NVT's Elders and Youth Committee, a group of tribal members including youth established in 2016 in an effort to engage in traditional knowledge sharing and community wellness.The project will be directed by the Tribal Health Director and the Tribal Council's Administrator and will add a part time behavioral health aide/project coordinator.
The goal of NVT's Native Connections program is to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance use among tribal youth ages 24 and younger. The following objectives will support the program's goal to develop a three-tiered Tribal Action Plan that utilizes evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to serve American Indian/ Alaska Native youth; strengthen partnerships with various youth serving and health organizations and traditional healers/cultural teachers for easy transition and/or referrals to substance abuse or mental health services, life skills training, cultural activities, and family wellness; recruit and work with at least five tribal youth and two Elders for participation in the NVT Native Connections Tribal Youth and Elders Committee to discuss policies and procedures to present to the Tribal Council to promote culturally sensitive suicide postvention and prevention work in the village; train at least forty tribal members (youth and adults) in age-appropriate suicide prevention and resiliency building strategies, including QPR, safeTALK, or traditional learning circles as provided by the BHAC; recruit and train at least five tribal members in suicide crisis response to include Critical Incident Stress Management, safeTALK, and ASIST; and collect, document, and analyze behavioral health service data related to services provided by the NVT Native Connections Program.