Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Program Name:  Guarding the Future
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Tribal
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2011
State:  Oklahoma

The Creek Nation seeks to forge a comprehensive and integrated suicide prevention system to detect, prevent, and provide early intervention services to 750 American Indian youth who reside within the rural 11-county area of northeastern Oklahoma served by the tribe.  The Creek Nation Guarding the Future project shall define the need for treatment services, the gaps between needed and available services, barriers to services, and other problems related to the need to implement suicide prevention and early intervention activities for American Indian youth at risk of or currently experiencing issues that may lead to suicide.  Further, the Creek Nation shall enlist area communities, area child-serving agencies, Creek Nation health facilities, and schools in the planning, assessment, implementation, and evaluation phases of this project.

The major outcomes of the project include:  Immediately increase the number of AI youth identified as at risk for suicide; increase the number of youth referred for services; increase the number of youth who receive services; increase the number of youth-serving individuals trained to identify, refer, assess, manage, and treat at risk youth; and further promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The cultural appropriateness of the project, often lacking in main-stream approaches, shall be assured through the active participation of community members, consumers, schools, tribal leaders, tribal members, and highly qualified and experienced native staff who bring their own traditional beliefs and values to the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes.

The project will serve 750 American Indian youth over the course of the project.  The target population is rural American Indians who are at great risk for suicide or suicide behaviors. 

Goal 1: To increase the capacity, effectiveness, and efficiency of suicide prevention services for American Indian youth and their families who reside within the area served by the Creek Nation.
Goal 2: To reduce the prevalence suicide and suicidal behaviors among the Creek Nation at risk youth populations.