Cherokee Nation

Seeking Hope
Garrett Lee Smith Tribal

The Cherokee Nation seeks to fashion a wide-ranging and integrated suicide prevention system to detect, prevent, and provide early intervention services to 735 American Indian youth who reside within the rural 14-county area of northeastern Oklahoma served by the tribe. The Cherokee Nation Seeking Hope project shall define the need for treatment services, the gaps between needed and available services, barriers to services, and other problems related to the need to implement suicide prevention and early intervention activities for American Indian youth at risk of or currently experiencing issues that may lead to suicide.Further, the Cherokee Nation shall enlist in area communities, area child-serving agencies, Cherokee Nation health facilities, and schools in the planning, assessment, implementation, and evaluation phases.

The key outcomes of the project include: Rapidly increase the number of AI youth identified as at risk for suicide; increase the number of youth referred for services; increase the number of youth who receive services; increase the number of youth-serving individuals trained to identify, refer, assess, manage, and treat at risk youth; and further promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The cultural appropriateness of the project, often lacking in main-stream approaches, shall be assured through the active participation of community members, consumers, schools, tribal leaders, tribal members, and highly qualified and experienced native staff who bring their own traditional beliefs and values to the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes.
The project will serve 735 American Indian Youth over the course of the project.The target population is rural American Indians who are at great risk for suicide or suicide behaviors.

Goal 1: To expand the capacity, effectiveness, and efficiency of suicide prevention services for American Indian youth and their families who reside within the area served by the Cherokee Nation
Goal 2: To reduce the prevalence suicide and suicidal behaviors among the Cherokee Nation at risk youth populations