Choctaw Nation

Program Name:  CNO Project Zero Suicide
Grant Type:  Zero Suicide
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2017
State:  Oklahoma

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is committed to integrating the Zero Suicide Model firmly into the tribal health system. Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority (CNHSA) will implement CNO Project Zero in an integrated health care system to provide prevention and intervention for individuals who are 25 years of age or older, to raise awareness of suicide, establish stronger referral processes, and improve the care and outcomes for individuals who are at risk for suicide. The target populations for Project Zero are:

1) approximately 1,200 American Indians age 25+ and their family members, who live within the 10½ county jurisdictional boundaries of the Choctaw Nation;
2) approximately 125 health providers who serve this population; and
3) 50 partner health providers in other county and state facilities.

A nurse will serve as project director to train the hospital medical professionals in QPR for Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses. These trainings will build the capacity of the CNHSA to better identify and address patients who present with suicidal ideation/behaviors. The project director will travel to the nine other clinic sites for oversight, training and collaboration purposes, ensuring that all 10½ counties served by the CNO will benefit from increased suicide awareness, support services and that integration of Zero Suicide is implemented. Two integrated therapists will be hired to increase the therapeutic response to suicide, and will be based in LeFlore County at the CNHSA hospital and Pittsburg County at the second largest CNHSA Behavioral Health unit. They will operate out of Poteau and McAlester, Oklahoma. Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is well positioned, and has already implemented some components that have been very well received.

The Zero Suicide model, a comprehensive, multi-setting approach to suicide prevention and intervention in health systems, will be the driving force of this project. CNO’s Project Zero will be inclusive of all elements of the Zero Suicide Model throughout the five-year funding cycle. We expect that the long-term impact will be the complete transformation of the Choctaw Nation Medical and Behavioral Health system to enhance our ability to identify, treat, refer, and ensure continuity of care for individuals at risk for suicide and suicidal behaviors. This project will follow the Choctaw concept of Achchukmali Imabachi Sa Banna, which describes a special caring – “teaching to make better”. This is the basis for the Project Zero. Caring and teaching/training are woven throughout as we build a system wide embrace of our people, our families, our providers and our community to intervene in, and reduce suicide.