Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center

Yellowhawk - Circles of Hope
Garrett Lee Smith Campus

Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center, a tribally operated health clinic located in Pendleton, Oregon is requesting funding from SAMHSA to implement a five year tribal youth suicide prevention project for the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). The project will provide a broad based program of trainings, systemic improvements to assure continuity of care and implementation of best practices, increased treatment efficacy, and culturally-attuned prevention services in collaboration with a wide range of program partners.

Population: Circles of Hope will serve Native American youth between the ages of 10 and 24 in Umatilla and Union Counties.

Demographics and clinical characteristics: Youth suicide has been a significant health problem within the CTUIR for decades. In the past three years, there have been 12 known suicide attempts by Native youth and one youth who completed suicide. A study completed in 2009 found that 1 in 7 CTUIR tribal youth had attempted suicide in a 12-month period.

Strategies/interventions: Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center will provide a comprehensive suicide prevention, intervention and post-vention program to be carried out collaboratively with 12 or more community organizations and six project staff positions: project assistant/evaluation coordinator, young adult outreach specialist, mental health counselor, community engagement specialist, integrated care mental health counselor, and project director. They will expand access to behavioral health services, promote regional system change to address suicide, provide outreach and life skills for youth and emerging adults, develop a suicide prevention community coalition, and arrange community healing workshops to address historical and multi-generational trauma. The American Indian Life Skills Curriculum, Project Venture, and Native Wellness program will be provided to youth in order to support resilience and promote mental health. Training in five best practice models, including QPR, ASIST, AMSR, DBT and EMDR will be provided to a broad range of youth serving agencies, as well as local health care, mental health and substance abuse professionals.

Goal 1 – To engage the tribal community in promoting healthy and empowered individuals and families.

Goal 2 – To build youth resilience by strengthening connections to community and culture through experiential learning and life skills development.

Goal 3 – To strengthen the tribe?s ability to prevent youth suicides and support healing of those affected by suicide.

Goal 4 – To initiate system change in the delivery of behavioral health services by providing integrated preventative and follow-up care.

Goal 5 – To facilitate regional system change to address youth suicides through partnerships.

Goal 6 – To collect data to facilitate program improvement and assess impact.

Number of people served: The 746 youth members of the CTUIR, ages 10 to 24.