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Youth Best Practices


ABCs of Healthy Relationships Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: The ABCs of Healthy Relationships – Awareness, Balance, and Choices – includes information, skill building, value clarification activities, resources, and conversation starters. The ABCs are a guide to evaluate current relationships or to develop new ones later in life. The curriculum includes skill-building activities and value clarification exercises to help develop healthy relationships.

Tribes Using Practice: Pine Ridge SA DVP


American Indian Life Skills (AILS) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Created in collaboration with AI students and community members, the course teaches life skills in communication, problem solving, depression and stress management, anger regulation, and goal setting. Aimed at American Indian adolescents 14 to 19 years old, the curriculum includes anywhere from 28 to 56 lesson plans covering topics such as building self-esteem, identifying emotions and stress, increasing communication and problem-solving skills, recognizing and eliminating self-destructive behavior, learning about suicide, role-playing around suicide prevention, and setting personal and community goals. The curriculum typically is delivered over 30 weeks during the school year, with students participating in lessons 3 times per week.

Tribes Using Practice: Blackfeet Tribal Health MSPI


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: ASIST is an internationally recognized youth suicide prevention program developed by LivingWorks Education, Inc. ASIST is a gatekeeper and skills-building training program that aims to prevent suicide by raising awareness of societal attitudes about suicide; enhancing communication, identification, and intervention skills; and increasing knowledge of resources for both caregivers and people at risk. Although it is not yet considered an EBP, ASIST is included on the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry. ASIST training prepares participants to integrate intervention principles into everyday practice. The two day workshop provides principles that can be applied to young people, middle age adults or elders.

Tribes Using Practice: N/A


Be the Change Youth Club Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: In collaboration with MSPI, the club hosts community and school-focused prevention activities and promotes community wellness. (Center for Native American Youth [CNAY] aims to bring greater national attention to the issues facing Native American youth and to foster solutions, with special emphasis on youth suicide prevention.)

Tribes Using Practice: Hoopa Valley Tribe MSPI


Boys and Girls Clubs in Indian Country (PP) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: BGC mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Collaboration with projects in many areas to provide anti-bullying presentations and materials; anti-drug and drinking materials; suicide gatekeeping and prevention; and activities which focus on creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Tribes Using Practice: Chickasaw Nation


Canoe Journey Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program joined the other canoe teams for a canoe journey to Juneau for Celebration 2012. Said SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program Manager Wilbur Brown, "our intention is to raise awareness about suicide prevention, as well as use this powerful experience to help our communities, families and participants heal from past tragedies.” (Excerpt from news article about the 2012 journey)

Tribes Using Practice: Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium MSPI


Challenge DayExit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: The Challenge Day mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression. Our 6 1/2-hour Challenge Day program is designed for 100 students. Our program is created to build connection and empathy, and to fulfill our vision that every child lives in a world where they feel safe, loved, and celebrated. Challenge Day is more than a one-day program. Our programs go beyond traditional anti-bullying efforts, building empathy and igniting a movement of compassion and positive change, known as the Be the Change movement.

Tribes Using Practice: Hoopa Valley Tribe


Children-Youth Picture Book (community-created, local PP)

Description: The development of a youth picture book that reinforces a positive self-image and builds resiliency for Apache youth and shows historic cultural strengths is well underway. A primary cultural advisor has hosted collaborative consultations with traditional healers, elders and community leaders in outlining the content. Proposals from local writers and artists are being solicited. The book will be printed and distributed upon completion.

Tribes Using Practice: White Mountain Apache Tribe MSPI


Coping and Support Training (CAST)Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: CAST is a 12-lesson skills training program used by schools, community centers, and youth-oriented agencies for middle or high school-aged youth. Program features include:

  • Skills training, with a focus on building self-esteem, monitoring and setting goals, decision making and personal control, including help and support seeking strategies;
  • A group context of adult and peer supports to enhance personal and social protective factors;
  • A crisis response plan that includes both school and community-based strategies and resources for responding to a range of suicide-risk behaviors; and
  • Parent involvement, including active parental consent, support of CAST goals, and awareness of school and community support resources.

Tribes Using Practice: MSPI White Sky Hope Center, Chippewa Creek Tribe MSPI Northern Cheyenne


Culture Camp (local PP)

Description: Excerpt from progress report: Culture Camp is a 3 day event focusing on connecting native youth and children to their culture and strengthening family relationships. The experience is intended to enhance protective factors and reverse risk factors in families.

Tribes Using Practice: Ketchikan Indian Community MSPI


Dare to be You (DTBY) Parenting Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: DTBY is a multilevel prevention program that serves high-risk families with children 2 to 5 years old. Program objectives focus on children's developmental attainments and aspects of parenting that contribute to youth resilience to later substance abuse, including parental self-efficacy, effective child rearing, social support, and problem-solving skills.

Tribes Using Practice: Navajo Department of BH Services DVPI


Digital story-telling, youth Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: This practice gives youth a voice in the fight against suicide and meth use and is considered to be a promising way to redress historical trauma. To recover the loss of cultural traditions and family structure across generations, Tribal youth produce video-recorded stories of resiliency to share in school & in community prevention events.

Tribes Using Practice: Crow Tribe MSPI


Don't Meth with Us  Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: An educational program to educate children and families about the consequences of methamphetamine, arming them with the tools necessary to combat illicit drug use and addiction. To accomplish this, we go into the schools and engage students on a personal level, opening their eyes to a bright, drug-free future. THE VISION: is to develop a growing network of service organizations in a unified front against drug abuse. We work to bring together business and civic leaders to use their skills to empower youth in the community, breaking the cycle of drug addiction.

Tribes Using Practice: Navajo Nation Dept. Behavioral Health Services


Elder-Youth Healthy Relationship Mentoring Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: To address the issue of children whose parent(s) are incarcerated in tribal, state, or federal prisons, the Navajo Nation teamed with local Boys and Girls Clubs in Indian Country to establish and implement the National Native American Mentoring Program in 28 Clubs. Each local Club identifies a Mentor Program Coordinator who is trained to be responsible for identifying youth; recruiting, training, and supervising mentors; and monitoring the relationships between the mentors and mentees. A training manual has been developed for use by the 28 sites.

Tribes Using Practice: Quileute Tribe Health Clinic DVPI


FACE Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: FACE currently has programs in 44 Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) funded schools. It was designed as a family literacy program; an integrated model for an early childhood-parental involvement program for American Indian families in BIE-funded schools. The goals are to: support parents/primary caregivers in their role as their child’s first and most influential teacher; increase family literacy; strengthen family-school-community connections; promote the early identification and services to children with special needs; increase parent participation in their child's learning; support and celebrate the unique cultural and linguistic diversity of each American Indian community served by the program; and promote lifelong learning. Program services integrate language and culture in two settings, home and school.

Tribes Using Practice: N/A


Great Body Shop Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 


  • The practice has a healthy lifestyles and prevention focus. Excerpt from the Research Tab on GBS website (see link):
  • Results suggest that the GBS curriculum has a significant positive impact on students exposed to the material and that exposure over time increases the level of impact students experienced from instruction using these curricula.
  • The behaviors which demonstrated a positive impact fell into the following scaled categories: self-esteem, family caring, other caring, emotional distress, antisocial behavior, school risk/protective factors, violence and conduct.

Tribes Using Practice: DVPI Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community


HALO curriculum Healthy Alternatives for Little Ones (HALO) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: HALO is an evidenced-based, developmentally appropriate health education and prevention program for 3-6 year-old children. It is designed to provide information to help children build skills for growing up in healthy ways so they become, "Bigger, Stronger and Better Able to Think!"

Tribes Using Practice: Hualapai Human Services DVPI MSPI Winnebago Counseling Center


Healing Song Project Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: A music therapy program that explores story telling through song, drumming, and earth reverence songs. This program is available to both youth and adults.

Tribes Using Practice: MSPI Health (Nez Perce)


It's Your Game curriculum Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: Targeted to middle school youth, the [prevention] curriculum provides information about and encourages healthy life choices and practices

Tribes Using Practice: MSPI Grand Ronde


Just for Kids Camp (local PP)

Description: Excerpt from program narrative: Just For Kids camp is put on every summer in our community for Native American children. Our program provided a lesson/activity on coping with stress to 112 Native American children in attendance at this camp.

Tribes Using Practice: MSPI Modoc/Ottawa NE Tribal Health


Tribes Using Practice: N/A


LEAP - Lapwai Equine Assisted Program (PP) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: A therapeutic horsemanship program that provides resiliency and strength based training for children and their families. Providing individual participants with: emotional awareness, stress-management, and leadership skills to foster sobriety.

Tribes Using Practice: Nimiipuu Health (Nez Perce) MSPI


Lifelines: A Comprehensive Suicide Awareness and Responsiveness Program for Teens Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Description: The only existing model of its kind available for teens, this is a whole-school curriculum program with 3 unique components: Lifelines: Prevention, Lifelines: Intervention, and Lifelines: Postvention

Tribes Using Practice: MSPI Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, MSPI Eastern Shoshone Tribe

Continue to Youth Best Practices, Part II