Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians

Program Name:  Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Tribal
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2019
State:  Michigan

The Gun Lake Tribe (GLT) will develop a framework for suicide prevention and early intervention activities to increase program capacity, effectiveness and efficiency to identify, respond, assess and treat those identified as being at risk. The three-year We Walk Together Project will serve 160 community individuals, focusing on youth ages 10-24. GLT offers programs and services to citizens of federally recognized tribes who reside in Allegan, Barry, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Ottawa counties of Michigan. Roughly, 30% of Gun Lake Tribe Citizens who reside within the five-county service area are youth ages 10 to 24. Of that number, over 50% of GLT youth in this age range live in Allegan County, where the Tribal Government Office and Health and Human Services Department are located. The geographic catchment area where services are delivered is a rural area with limited access to hospitals and health centers. Needs Statement: GLT HHS department has basic suicide screening and intervention practices in place for individuals who access services; however, is in need of expanding services to identify, respond, assess and treat those identified as being at risk. In order to address the need, staff will accomplish two goals over the course of a three-year project: Goal 1: Develop and implement comprehensive and sustainable preventive, clinical and professional practices to enhance awareness, identification, referral and treatment strategies for American Indian Youth, ages 10-24, and household members in the GLT community focused on warning signs and risk factors for suicide, suicide and suicidal behaviors; and, Goal 2: Increase data collection and analysis to effectively address youth suicide in the Tribal community. The Zero Suicide Model was selected to develop team-based guidance and support to operationalize a suicide care plan into practice, while evidenced-based Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) was chosen to systematically screen, assist and refer people with substance abuse, suicide and suicide risk factors. The project will also incorporate staff and community training to better identify, assess and increase referrals. Over the course of the three-year project, staff will work with Cheryl Endres, evaluator, to increase data and analysis, and with Western Michigan University partner, Dee Sherwood, Ph.D. for implementation of prevention and early intervention activities. Existing relationships with Allegan County Community Mental Health Suicide Prevention Coalition will be leveraged during the project for training, strengthening resources and connections and capacity for referrals.