MONTANA: Bill aims to help tribes curb youth suicide

June 19, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Montana

The Great Falls Tribune

Steve Bullock, governor of Montana, has signed a measure allocating $250,000 to support youth suicide prevention efforts in the state’s tribal communities over the next two years. The state has a high suicide rate, and some of its tribal communities have been hard hit by clusters of youth suicides. “I celebrate this day,” said Fort Peck tribal councilwoman Roxanne Gourneau, whose 17-year-old son died by suicide in 2010. “We want those who suffer from profound pain to know that we’re fighting for you.” The signing was held at a ranch where the Fort Peck Tribes maintain a herd of bison as part of a campaign to restore cultural pride and awareness to American Indian youth. “The ripples of a young person taking their own life spreads further than just with the families,” said Governor Bullock. “It touches the entire state.”

Spark Extra! Building the Evaluation Capacity of Local Programs Serving American Indian/Alaska Native Populations: Lessons Learned is a new resource from SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies.