Best and Promising Practices for the Implementation of Zero Suicide in Indian Country

Zero Suicide is a framework to support suicide-safer care in health and behavioral health care systems. In the past ten years, many studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing suicide deaths across diverse health systems. However, when health and behavioral health care systems in Indian Country have attempted to employ the framework, there are often challenges related to culture, language, or concepts of what healing and wellness may mean to the Tribe or to the community, as well as differences in resources and views of standardized measurement and data gathering. Adding to the challenges of implementing Zero Suicide as a framework in Indian Country are historical, intergenerational, and modern-day trauma and their impact on the health and well-being of Indigenous people.

This toolkit contains recommendations for the implementation of Zero Suicide in Indian Country, forms and tools others have used in their own implementation, and videos featuring a variety of indigenous health systems (IHS and Tribal) who have committed to the implementation and indigenization of the Zero Suicide framework for their communities. The toolkit offers two in-depth views into very different health systems—one Tribal and one IHS—who are implementing Zero Suicide.

This is a companion toolkit to the original Zero Suicide Toolkit. The toolkit on the Zero Suicide website details each of the seven elements that make up the Zero Suicide framework for health and behavioral health care systems and should form the basis for anyone starting to learn about Zero Suicide. This companion toolkit serves as a specialization step for health systems in Indian Country who are looking for guidance on how to implement the Zero Suicide framework in culturally relevant ways.

Population: American Indian/Alaska Native

Links:

  • Access the full toolkit, Best and Promising Practices for the Implementation of Zero Suicide in Indian Country from Zero Suicide.
  • Learn more about Zero Suicide.
  • Check out the original Zero Suicide Toolkit from Zero Suicide.
  • Check out the report, Preventing and Responding to Suicide Clusters in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Learn more about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Check out the page, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Date: 2021

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