University of Montana/Fort Peck

Program Name:  Sister Nations Empowerment Program
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Tribal
Grant Status:  Alumni
Year Awarded:  2011
State:  Montana

Sister Nations Empowerment Partnership
The Fort Peck Tribal Health Department and the Institute for Educational Research and Service have entered a partnership ? the Sister Nations Empowerment Partnership ? to design and deploy a comprehensive system of youth suicide prevention on the Fort Peck Reservation in Northeast Montana. The partnership will build on existing work in response to a devastating suicide cluster in 2010. Particular attention will be given to needs identified in a deployment report by the U.S. Public Health Service in response to a state of emergency declared by the Fort Peck Tribes in May 2010. During the period identified in the report, the suicide completion rate on the reservation was three times the Montana average and more than six times the rate for the nation as a whole.
Our goals are:

  • Increase the number of primary health care and mental health providers trained to assess, manage, and treat youth at risk for suicide.
  • Increase the number of youth, school staff, parents, and community members trained to identify and refer for care a youth at risk for suicide.
  • Increase the number of youth receiving mental health and substance abuse services by improving access to care.
  • Promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in all activities.

Our work will be driven by the Public Health Service Deployment?s Fall 2010 report about the cluster, results of youth surveys and focus groups conducted during the past year, best practices outlined by SAMHSA, and priorities outlined by the recently established Fort Peck Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Interventions include:

  • The World Health Organizations? Brief Intervention & Contact for Suicide Attempters
  • Alcohol Screening & Brief Intervention
  • Steps to Respect bullying prevention program
  • SafeTalk gatekeeper training
  • Sources of Strength youth mentoring and suicide prevention program
  • Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Promotion of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Overall, 1,980 youth will receive grant services (75% of youth under age 25), 660 in each of three years. The partnership is seeking $480,000 a year for three years.