Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Garrett Lee Smith Tribal
South Dakota

To respond to high rates of youth suicide for its members, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe proposes a comprehensive suicide prevention program across the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. By creating a broad coalition of youth-serving organizations, the program will employ a series of evidence-based strategies to address youth risk factors for suicide. Ongoing monitoring and assessment of programs, together with an emphasis on culturally-tailored forms of risk reduction and healing, will allow the tribe to become a best-practice example of tribal suicide prevention. Over the course of the five-year program, capacity will be developed for local youth-serving and behavioral health organizations, with the five-year period culminating in the establishment of a sustainability plan for ongoing robust efforts in the prevention of youth suicide. Objectives also will include the strengthening of three existing programs: a tribally-run suicide hotline; a smaller tribal suicide prevention program; and a school peer mentorship program designed to address risk factors for youth suicide. The program will emphasize clinical care, implementing a behavioral health aide and behavioral health specialist programs. Children who screen positive for risk factors for suicide, including substance use disorders and mood disorders, will be referred to appropriate services including these community-based behavioral health professionals as well as clinical care delivered by Rosebud Sioux Tribe health programs or the Indian Health Service Behavioral Health Department. The program will institute trainings for clinical and non-clinical youth-serving professionals in the community. Traditional healers will be contracted to join program staff in providing postvention and family support. An emphasis will be placed on vulnerable subgroups including individuals detained in correctional facilities and returning veterans. Staff affiliated with institutions of higher learning, including the tribally-affiliated Sinte Gleska University and Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, will provide support to the program.