Southcentral Foundation (SCF), a tribal health care organization serving Alaska Native and American Indian people in Southcentral Alaska, proposes a Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention initiative. The initiative will focus on improving screening and referrals of at-risk youth ages 10 to 24, the provision of subsequent case management and other services, training, and engaging teens in the development of awareness campaigns.
Just in the last 12 months, the SCF Behavioral Urgent Response Team was called to conduct consultations with 567 customers due to a suicide attempt or suicide ideation. Of these, over 35 percent were Alaska Native youth ages 10 to 24. Presently 11,073 Alaska Native youth (ages 10 to 24) are on the panel of a SCF primary care physician. Of the total number empanelled, 9,327 were seen by their primary care teams in the last 12 months. This is the population SCF will focus on each year, for a three-year project period.
The project goals are, in summary, to 1) Wwork in partnership with other organizations in a coordinated, strategic manner; 2) increase protective factors in the lives of Anchorage Native youth; 3) identify and assess Anchorage Native youth in crisis or with multiple risk factors, and provide them with access to culturally appropriate services; 4) provide timely access to an array of treatment and supportive services to identified high-risk Anchorage Native youth.
The objectives include: youth-serving organization contributions to implementation of SCF Suicide Prevention Plan in Year 1; annual cultural context orientations for community partner staff; increased competencies in suicide detection and response among community partners; widespread dissemination of awareness campaign materials; youth engagement in production of Public Service Announcements; increased protection of participating youth from risk of suicide; five MOAs signed annually to establish processes for referral and assessment of Native youth at elevated risk for suicide; increased readiness of ANI AI youth-serving organizations to refer and assess youth; increased depression/suicide screening of youth 12 to 24; training of “gatekeepers” resulting in increased suicide crisis management knowledge and skill; annually, referral, treatment and case management services for youth screened/assessed positive for risk; and lastly, those ages 10 to 24 seen by BURT for depression and/or suicide risk, symptoms decrease after subsequent referral and treatment.