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Basics of Getting Started

Addressing suicide in Native communities can sometimes be complex and confusing. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention will assist in planning for the journey ahead. In the spirit of honoring Native thought, this section is designed to help you reflect and learn more about the concern, identify your own resources, and use the knowledge and understanding of the communities' readiness to work toward a common vision for wellness.

Restoring Balance- Community Readiness

This manual provides a process for communities to address wellness, identify their own resources, and use the knowledge and ability of community members to promote change. Native people themselves are the best people to decide what changes are needed and to make those changes occur. Native people are ultimately responsible for their own communities, and for determining what level of wellness they will achieve and maintain.

To Live to See the Great Day that Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults

The purpose of this guide is to support AI/AN communities and those who serve them in developing effective, culturally appropriate suicide prevention plans. This guide lays the groundwork for comprehensive prevention planning, with prevention broadly defined to include programs that a community can use to promote the mental health of its young people. The guide also covers actions a community can take in response to a suicide to help the community heal and thereby prevent related suicidal behaviors.

The Community Tool Box

The Table of Contents provides a wealth of information to help you get a quick start in doing key activities in community work. Click on the type of work that is closest to what you are doing to see key tasks, examples, and links to support.

Public Health Model

The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention is a comprehensive and integrated approach to reducing the loss and suffering from suicide and suicidal behaviors across the life course. This model promotes wellness in Indian country through Mind, Body, and Spirit while supporting American Indian/ Alaska Native youth and their families in achieving balance.

Assessing and Planning Toolkit for Suicide Prevention in First Nations Communities

This resource has been developed to provide a step-by-step framework to guide First Nations individuals and organizations in assessing needs and developing a suicide prevention plan for their community. It also contains information and research on suicide prevention to increase awareness and encourage discussion.

Tri-ethnic Center Community Readiness Index

The Community Readiness Model is an innovative method for assessing the level of readiness of a community to develop and implement prevention programming. It can be used as both a research tool to assess levels of readiness across a group of communities and as a tool to guide prevention efforts at the individual community level.

Relational Worldview Model

The relational worldview model was developed by the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) in the 1980’s and continues to be refined in practice by NICWA staff. It is a reflection of the Native thought process and concept of balance as the basis for health, whether of an individual, family, or organization.


These web pages are designed specifically for individuals working with Native populations. Our aim is to enhance resources and knowledge specific for American Indian and Alaska Native populations to support suicide prevention and mental health promotion. We welcome your feedback -- send suggestions to Al-ANPages@sprc.org.