Under the FY 2019 Tribal Behavioral Health Grant Program (Native Connections), Maniilaq Association plans to implement a youth-targeted suicide prevention / postvention program in the twelve communities it serves in remote Northwest Alaska. The total population of the Maniilaq Service Area is approximately 8,200 residents, with 37.2 per cent (3,051) falling in the range from youth to 24 years of age with an estimated 50% to be served by this grant through a Tier 1 Universal intervention which will be targeted at the youth age 12-24. Funding awarded toward the Maniilaq Association Youth Suicide Prevention Project will support the expansion of village-based, Native-led wellness and suicide prevention programming. This will expand upon existing village infrastructure established under the PC CARES (Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide) Program, a successful model in our region in which monthly learning circles are facilitated by community leaders in each of the villages of the Maniilaq Service Area. These learning circles combine region-based research evidence with local knowledge to support suicide prevention at the community level through culturally appropriate strategies. Following on the PC CARES pilot program, Maniilaq Association will partner with researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst to create a 3-part suicide prevention / postvention program targeted specifically to the region’s youth and young adults under the age of 24. These trainings will be delivered via Learning Circles, which have been successfully demonstrated under PC CARES and Maniilaq’s Qargi model. With previous SAMHSA support, Maniilaq Association has made significant strides in addressing the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of this region’s residents. This FY19 Native Connections support will help Maniilaq Association to build on nearly twenty years of collaboration between researchers, behavioral health practitioners, and the Alaska Native villages of Northwest Alaska to combat the high rates of youth suicide in our region.
Goal 1 –Using the Native Connections Public Health Approach, increase the capacity of service providers to address SUD and suicide.
*Objective 1A. By May 30, 2019 create a Youth Advisory Council in order to ensure youth community member involvement in all grant activities.
*Objective 1B. By September 30, 2019 complete required elements of the Native Connections Public Health Approach (CSA, CNA, CRA, CRAM, SAP).
*Objective 1C. By December 31, 2019 draft a report that addresses existing policies and procedures to promote coordination among youth-serving agencies and identifies any gaps. Objective 1D. By December 31, 2019 draft a report that addresses current or revised protocols for youth at risk, ensuring they receive follow-up services.
Goal 2 – Increase capacity of the tribal communities to engage in suicide prevention and postvention activities.
*Objective 2A. By May 30, 2019 Dr. Wexler’s team will revise PC-CARES materials to create a three-part curriculum to emphasis postvention for delivery to youth and those that work with youth.
*Objective 2B. By October 31 of each project year, Project Director and U Mass Amherst educators deliver PC-CARES revised training to 10 Village Wellness Team members.
*Objective 2C. By July 31 of each project year, deliver PC-CARES revised training to 15 Northwest Arctic Borough School District teachers or staff.
*Objective 2D. By August 1 of each project year, deliver PC-Cares revised training to 12 number Youth Leaders.
*Objective 2E. By December 31 of each project year, community Wellness Teams will lead 3 revised PC-CARES learning circles in each of the region’s 12 villages (36 total learning circles).
Objective 2F. Between May 1 and September 1 of each project year, Youth Leaders will hold 1 Youth initiated, designed, led, suicide prevention event in each village (12 events total).