Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board
Connecting With Our Youth (CWOY) is a values-based initiative to reduce the rate of suicide for American Indian youth in the Paha Sapa (sacred lands of the Black Hills) catchment area. CWOY is informed by Lakota culture values of caring and compassion for all (Waú?šila) and youth are sacred (Wak?á?yeža) to strengthen connections between American Indian youth and their culture.Lakota values will be used by CWOY to develop culturally-adapted evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies designed to increase social connectedness, reduce death by suicide and suicide attempt rates, and expand knowledge of how to support American Indian youth, families and relatives. CWOY objectives include (1) deploying patient navigators entrusted to work with key stakeholders to provide early intervention and long-term support; (2) sharing the CWOY prevention curriculum with American Indian youth and their relatives, behavioral health practitioners, police officers, corrections staff, and substance abuse counselors;(3) delivering a Lakota-based mobile suicide prevention and intervention smartphone application targeted to support American Indian youth who are not active in schools, who might be waiting for follow-up care without a patient navigator, or who are not sure what to do and are looking for a private and confidential path to support and connections.The mobile app is designed to provide support and conservation of resources through peer “”connectors””, who hold the potential for further disseminate knowledge of how to respond productively to suicidal ideations throughout the community. Housed in the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board in Rapid City, South Dakota, CWOY will serve American Indian youth in an eight-county catchment area characterized by high suicide rates, high proportion of American Indian population and strong cultural attachment to Paha Sapa in a collaborative effort to strengthen connections among American Indian youth and their culture, families, peers, counselors, doctors, and community members dedicated to their well being.