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IHS Awards $850,000 Cooperative Agreement for Zero Suicide Initiative Coordinating Center

The Indian Health Service Division of Behavioral Health has awarded $425,000 each through a cooperative agreement to the Research Triangle Institute and the Northwest Portland Indian Health Board to support the Zero Suicide Initiative Coordinating Center. The award cycle started on July 1, 2023, and will continue for five years.

The purpose of the ZSICC cooperative agreement is to build capacity among the 15 health care facilities currently funded to implement the Zero Suicide model within their local health system of care. This cooperative agreement will work with DBH to provide technical assistance in the areas of data collection, reporting, training, resources, and implementation of the Zero Suicide approach in Indian Country.

“Because suicide affects everyone, from those who have lost a loved one to suicide, to those at risk for suicide, suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” said IHS Director Roselyn Tso. “It is important for our people to talk to their health care providers to learn more about suicide prevention and available treatment for mental disorders.”

Despite the strengths of American Indian and Alaska Native families and communities, suicide remains a devastating and all too frequent event. The seven elements of the Zero Suicide model Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  represent evidence-based care for individuals with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and include Lead, Train, Identify, Engage, Treat, Transition, and Improve. This work aligns with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services priority of behavioral health integration Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  to provide integrated, equitable, evidence-based, culturally appropriate, and person-centered behavioral health care.

The Division of Behavioral Health serves as the primary source of national advocacy, policy development, management, and administration of behavioral health, alcohol and substance abuse, and family violence prevention programs for American Indian and Alaska Native people. Working in partnership with tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian health organizations, DBH coordinates national efforts to share knowledge and build capacity through the development and implementation of evidence-based, practice-based and culturally-based activities in Indian Country.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.8 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  in 37 states. Follow the agency via social media on Facebook Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , Twitter Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , and LinkedIn Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving .