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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Resources for Providers

Medical providers
Healthcare professionals have the opportunity to:

  • prevent suicide through community education and awareness efforts;
  • offer an appropriate intervention to individuals who are at-risk for suicide following screening and assessment;
  • and to provide postvention services to individuals who have survived a suicide attempt, as well as to individuals who have lost an acquaintance, friend, or family member to suicide.

General Resources

SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov has a number of resources available on their website, including pages for the Native American populationExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov on what to do to help someone who may be suicidal.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) Wallet Card: Suicide Prevention: Learn the Warning SignsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is available to download or order from SAMHSA. The card lists warning signs and urges those who exhibit signs of suicide to contact a mental health professional or call the toll-free suicide prevention hotline.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Wallet Card: Having Trouble Coping? With Help Comes HopeExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is also available to download or order from SAMHSA. The card lists signs of depression and urges people who are having trouble coping after a traumatic event to call the hotline.

Screening for Mental HealthExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.govalso has a downloadable questionnaire, Act now to stop a suicide—What to look for—and what to do if you are concerned about someone [PDF - 1.45 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.

The NSPL has collected links to sites listing therapists and support groups on their TherapyExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov page.

The Suicide Grief Support Quick ReferenceExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov site, created in response to results from a questionnaire sent to 150 NSPL crisis centers, lists resources and online grief support for survivors, caregivers and others.

Screening and Assessment

Available through the HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire Revised (SBQ-R) [PDF - 47 KB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is a screening tool that assesses suicide related thoughts and behaviors.

SAFE-T: Suicide Assessment Five-step Evaluation and Triage for Mental Health professionals [PDF - 56 KB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov, a collaboration between Screening for Mental Health, Inc. and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center is a five-step guide for clinicians which addresses patient levels of suicide risk and suggests appropriate interventions.

Training

The Connect Program, a nationally designated Best Practice Program developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offers suicide prevention, intervention and postvention trainingExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov offers five free online coursesExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov in suicide prevention to train service providers, educators, health professionals, and others. The SPRC also offers Research to Practice WebinarsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov designed for practitioners, researchers, and others that address the science of suicide prevention in practical terms.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) provides support group facilitator trainingExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov appropriate for both mental health professional and suicide loss survivors.

A project of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, Planting Seeds of HopeExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov aims to improve access to suicide prevention services across all of Montana and Wyoming’s tribal communities by promoting awareness, and providing training, screening and interventions.

The QPR InstituteExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov offers one-hour QPR suicide prevention training that teaches how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer (QPR) someone to get help.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is a two-day workshop for those who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

safeTALKExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is a three-hour training that prepares people 15 and older to identify people with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.

Most efforts to prevent suicide focus on why people take their lives. But how a person attempts suicide—the means he or she uses—can determine life or death. “Means reduction” is the goal of a project of the Harvard School of Public Health called Means MatterExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov. The Center, through the SPRC website, offers two Counseling on Access to Leathal Means (CALM) online training coursesExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov in means reduction.

Best Practices

The IHS database Online Search, Consultation and Reporting (OSCAR) is an inventory of Best (i.e., Evidence-Based) Practices, Promising Practices, and Local Effort resources and policies that have been identified as effective in providing services to American Indians/Alaska Natives in community, school, workplace, and health care settings.

Tools and Toolkits

One Sky Center offers a template designed to assess community suicide prevention components, the American Indian Community Suicide Prevention Assessment Tool [DOC - 124 KB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.

SAMHSA’s Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High SchoolsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov provides guidance for designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health among students. It includes tools to implement a multifaceted suicide prevention program that responds to students' needs and cultures.

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for SchoolsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov, from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov, includes an overview of key considerations, general guidelines for action, templates, and sample materials, all in an easily accessible format applicable to diverse populations and communities.

The Suicide Prevention among LGBT Youth: A Workshop for Professionals Who Serve YouthExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov toolkit contains materials to help staff in schools, youth-serving organizations, and suicide prevention programs host a workshop to take action to reduce suicidal behavior among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.

SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov has a number of tools available on its website about how to intervene with an individual who may be suicidal, including resourcesExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov on intervening with Native American populations.

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov designed the Ensuring the Seventh Generation: Youth Suicide Prevention Toolkit [PPT - 3 MB] Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov for child welfare and mental health programs focused on victims of abuse, children in out-of-home care, and witnesses of violence to educate tribal child welfare workers of the warning signs of suicide, risk and protective factors, suicide prevention and intervention methods.

Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Living CommunitiesExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov equips senior living staff with resources to promote mental health and prevent suicide and encourage active participation among residents, and may be downloaded or ordered through SAMHSA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers Suicide Prevention Tools and Knowledge BriefsExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov and links to tools to help suicide prevention practitioners and others increase awareness of suicide as a public health issue, and use connectedness and community resources to prevent suicide.

The National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is a Canadian not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities. Their Assessment and Planning Tool Kit for Suicide Prevention in First Nations Communities [PDF - 1 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov may be downloaded from their site.

Through SAMHSA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) offers three guides in booklet form, including one for medical providersExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov on patient care after a suicide attempt.

The NSPL's Lifeline Online Postvention Manual [PDF - 103 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov on the Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s American Indian Initiative website offers guidance on how to help survivors heal after a suicide or suicide attempt.

Reports and Presentations

The Surgeon General and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's report 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action [PDF - 4.93 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov is an update of the initial strategy that was released in 2001. The updated National Strategy reflects the most current knowledge, research, and practice about how communities can most effectively work to prevent suicide.

From the Urban Indian Health Institute, Addressing Behavioral Health Among American Indians and Alaska Natives: A Literature Review (August 2012) [PDF - 7 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov a report summarizing existing programs to highlight approaches to address depression through outreach, education, screening and treatment.

Statement before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, by Randy Grinnell, MPH, Deputy Director, Indian Health Services on "The Preventable Epidemic: Youth and the Urgent Need for Mental Health Care Resources in Indian Country, March 25, 2010" [PDF - 7 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov created a PowerPoint presentation on the Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s American Indian Initiative [PDF - 1.8 MB] to assist providers in becoming more aware of the cultural needs of American Indian/Alaska Native Individuals.

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov has published a Tribal Suicide Action Plan [PDF - 4 MB]Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov available to download on their site.

Organizations

 
S.P.R.C. Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Promoting a public health approach to suicide prevention.

The Suicide Prevention Resource CenterExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. The Center promotes collaboration among organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention. The Center offers workshops and webinars, and its website has 250 library resources and a best practices registry. The Center’s website also has a section for professionals serving American Indian and Alaska Native communitiesExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.govis dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.