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About SASP

Photo of a mother and child in native clothing

In September 2009, the Indian Health Service (IHS) began the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) as a pilot demonstration project for 130 IHS, tribal, and Urban Indian Health programs.

IHS currently funds 174 grants and federal program awards, totaling $27,772,247 [PDF 65 KB] to meet the following six goals:

  1. Increase tribal, Urban Indian Organization (UIO), and federal capacity to operate successful substance use prevention, treatment, and aftercare and suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention services through implementing community and organizational needs assessment and strategic plans.
  2. Develop and foster data sharing systems among tribal, UIO, and federal behavioral health service providers to demonstrate efficacy and impact.
  3. Identify and address suicide ideations, attempts, and contagions among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations through the development and implementation of culturally appropriate and community relevant prevention, intervention, and postvention strategies.
  4. Identify and address substance use among AI/AN populations through the development and implementation of culturally appropriate and community relevant prevention, treatment, and aftercare strategies.
  5. Increase provider and community education on suicide and substance use by offering appropriate trainings.
  6. Promote positive AI/AN youth development and family engagement through the implementation of early intervention strategies to reduce risk factors for suicidal behavior and substance use.

Funded projects are not expected to address all of the SASP/MSPI goals, only those relevant to the Purpose Area for which they are funded.

Four purpose areas have been established to help projects meet these goals:


In 2016, the MSPI was renamed the Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention (SASP) program to reflect the move from initiative to program and to highlight the prevention work of tribal communities.

From 2009-2015, the SASP/MSPI resulted in over 12,200 individuals entering treatment for methamphetamine abuse; more than 16,560 substance use and mental health disorder encounters via telehealth; over 16,250 professionals and community members trained in suicide crisis response; and more than 690,590 encounters with youth provided as part of evidence-based and practice-based prevention activities.