Elluam Tungiinun: Culturally Based Program for Substance Abuse Prevention in Alaska Native Communities

Elluam Tungiinun (Toward Wellness) is a prevention trial to test the efficacy of the project’s culturally based approach to suicide and substance abuse prevention in three Yup’ik communities in southwest Alaska.

The Elluam Tungiinun project uses the Qungasvik (Toolbox) Manual. The Qungasvik has 36 cultural and bicultural activities designed to build protection from suicide and alcohol abuse in communities, families, and youth.

Every rural community is different. The Qungasvik describes a careful process to develop the prevention activities to fit the local customs and practices of the community. The program provides a strengths-based cultural approach to increase reasons for life and wellbeing.

The Elluam Tungiinun Project represents the fourth phase of the People Awakening project, which focused on identifying strengths and protections from alcohol abuse from the life histories of over 100 Alaska Native individuals. Outcome measures that track the growth of strengths and protections in individuals, families and communities were developed in subsequent phases of People Awakening. The purpose of these projects is to create evidence-based prevention practices for Alaska Native youth.

Population of focus: Yup’ik communities in southwest Alaska

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Organization: Center for Alaska Native Health Research