Tohono O’odham Nation

Tohono Oodham Nation
Garrett Lee Smith Tribal

The Tohono Oodham Nation, a federally recognized Tribe, respectfully submits this proposal for a Cooperative Agreement under the Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention Grants Initiative, CFDA No. 93,245. The proposed project builds on findings of the previously awarded Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention grant to implement a Nation-wide system addressing the risk factors leading to youth suicide, an increasing tragedy among the Nation youth, ages 11-24, their families, and communities. Through the present proposal, suicide intervention and prevention programs will be implemented, with support from the tribal government level, to meet local critical needs to suicide prevention strategies and programs.There continues to be a dramatic need to address youth suicide and the risk factors that lead to the Nations young people completing suicide at a disproportionate rate. The relationship of substance abuse as a risk factor for suicide is well established. The Tohono Oodham Nation has a rate of substance abuse and early deaths related to substance abuse disproportionate among all populations in the State of Arizona and the U.S. A Prevention Planning Committee was established in 2005 following an unprecedented number of suicides among youth, two of which were under 15 years of age. Conducted with community members and professionals from all departments of the Nation, the planning process included a needs assessment of program and services. The resulting comprehensive Prevention Plan identified community needs and strategies to address the identified risk factors. One strategy implemented was the creation of an on-going Prevention Coalition which will collaborate with this project.

The proposed project will address youth suicide prevention and the highest risk factors contributing to youth suicide.Results from the previous Garrett Lee Smith award indicate, based on the Tribal Prevention Plan, further focused strategies include: 1) thorough assessments and referral to appropriate treatment for highest risk youth ages 11-24 including those under the Child Welfare and Justice Systems for alcohol and drug related offenses; 2) case management for youth in those systems, identified as being at high risk for suicide; 3) community-based life skills and gatekeeper training for youth and adults that support youth; 4) implementation of an effective data management system to provide retrievable, comprehensive data to enable all providers in the Prevention Coalition to better meet the needs of high risk youth; 5) implementing a social marketing plan to promote access to suicide prevention resources and education; and 6) partnering with Tohono Oodham Community College to ensure effective prevention strategies through on-going evaluation services and the creation of a Prevention Specialist curriculum.