Oklahoma, a state with the second-highest American Indian (AI) population, has a suicide rate that is one of the highest in the nation. Despite this, there remain significant gaps in prevention, intervention and postvention treatment of AI youth ages 10-24.
The Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council, Inc, dba Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) proposes this five-year Native Connections project. The first year of the project will entail convening community stakeholders throughout central Oklahoma to conduct a service delivery systems analysis; a community needs assessment; a community readiness assessment; and a community resource/asset map that addresses both suicide prevention and substance abuse and misuse prevention. This work will culminate in a plan the uses the SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Framework planning process to guide the selection, implementation and evaluation of effective, culturally appropriate and sustainable prevention activities that encompass Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 of this project.
In subsequent years, OKCIC will use the plan developed in Year 1 to provide services to AI youth in central Oklahoma. Evaluation will be a key part of this project, which will be overseen by the OKCIC Director of Quality Improvement.
The OKCIC Behavioral Health Department will conduct this project. Staff are well trained on evidence-based practices as well as experienced in culturally appropriate treatment. Staff members in this department are very active in community efforts to create positive impacts. Staff will leverage these existing relationships to recruit a wide range of community members, including youth and their families, to the planning activities.
Throughout the project, OKCIC will continue to screen all patients ages 11+ for depression, domestic violence, suicide ideation and other risk factors. Patients who are considered at-risk will continue to receive immediate care and/or referrals.