American Indian/Alaska Native 2.0 Task Force

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GOAL: To support the implementation of the newly revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), the AI/AN 2.0 Task Force identified research as a top priority area in addressing suicide prevention in Indian Country.

This work plan supports NSSP Goal 12: Objective 12.1: Develop a national suicide prevention research agenda with comprehensive input from multiple stakeholders (AI/AN specific).

Objectives and Tasks/Action Steps

Objective 1: The Task Force will address the research priority areas that pertain to AI/AN communities and further the research priorities laid out by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and generate knowledge to support the newly revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP).

Guided by the research priorities laid out by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the task force will highlight what research has illuminated in relation to AI/AN suicide and prevention, and begin to identify research priority areas that have the most potential to reduce suicide and suicidal behavior in tribal communities through a workshop held in August 2013. The workshop encouraged dialogue among a multidisciplinary group of researchers and individuals who work in the area of AI/AN behavioral health and public health aimed at describing the state of science as it relates to AI/AN suicide prevention, and identify promising ways to move forward.

Tasks and Action Steps – (August – December 2013):

1)    Convened a workshop 19-20 August, 2013, to bring together AI/AN behavioral health and suicide prevention experts to develop a research agenda for AI/AN suicide prevention strategies and services.

2)    Documented and disseminated meeting minutes to participants and task force members.

3)    Completed a draft manuscript that describes the main issues identified by participants at the meeting, and important key promising areas for future research in AI/AN suicide prevention.

4)    Distributed draft manuscript to workshop participants and invite their additional contributions related to each person’s area of expertise.

Tasks and Action Steps – (January – March 2014):

1)    Share the manuscript with the AI/AN 2.0 task force and for review by Action Alliance Secretariat.

2)    Modify the manuscript to identify linkages with the Action Alliance’s Prioritized Research Agenda (release TBD). Timing of this task will be determined by release date and may need to occur during the re-submit phase of the peer review process.

3)    Submit manuscript(s) to peer-reviewed journal, American Journal of Public Health.

4)    Promote awareness and utilization of the manuscript (once published).

Tasks and Action Steps – (April – June 2014):

1)    Publish at least one article in a peer-reviewed journal to disseminate key ideas and priority areas for research related to AI/AN suicide prevention.

2)    Prepare a product (such as a PowerPoint presentation or one page bulleted briefing or webinar) to disseminate to communities following every paper submitted for peer-review. The products will highlight the paper’s content and will be vetted with our community members who have been supporting this process to ensure the language is clear and understandable prior to release.

Objective 2:  The Task Force will advance the Action Alliance priority initiative to change the public conversation around suicide and suicide prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Tasks and Action Steps – (January – March 2014): 

1)      Develop a plan and logic model to reach out to AI/AN communities and AI/AN national leaders to change the national narratives around suicide and suicide prevention to ones that promote hope, connectedness, social support, resilience, treatment and recovery.

2)      Promote the Action Alliance Framework for Successful Messaging to develop new messages for use by AI/AN media outlets and AI/AN national leaders.

Tasks and Action Steps – (April – June 2014): 

1)    Identify existing resources, media campaigns, evidence-based programs, and other effective programs and practices that promote hope, connectedness, social support, resilience, treatment and recovery to fundamentally change the course for those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.

2)    Identify existing mechanisms through private and public sector avenues to promote the existing resources and media campaigns.

Tasks and Action Steps – (Jul 2014 +): 

1)    Promote the identified existing resources, media campaigns, evidence-based programs, and other effective programs and practices through private and public sector avenues.

Members

  • Robert G. McSwain – Co-Lead Public Sector; Principal Deputy Director, Indian Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Service
  • Kevin Washburn, JD, – Co-Lead Public Sector; Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, US Department of Interior
  • Beverly Cotton, DNP, Director, Division of Behavioral Health, Indian Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Proxy for Robert G. McSwain, MD, MPH
  • Hankie Ortiz, JD, Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Indian Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Department of Interior, Proxy for Kevin Washburn, JD
  • Patrick Anderson, JD, Executive Director, Chugachmiut, Inc.
  • Laura Bird, National Congress of American Indians
  • Colbie Caughlan, MPH, Suicide Prevention Project Manager, Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • Sheila Cooper, Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Jackie Engebretson, National Indian Health Board
  • Kathy Etz, PhD, National Institute on Drug Abuse, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Robert Foley, Acting Director of Public Health Programs and Policy, National Indian Health Board
  • Kimberly T. Fowler, PhD, Director of Technical Assistance and Research, National Council of Urban Indian Health
  • Jamie Gomez, National Congress of American Indians
  • Whitney Hewlett, National Council of Urban Indian Health
  • Teresa LaFromboise, PhD, Director of Native American Studies
  • Gregory Leskin, PhD, Director, Military Families Initiative, UCLA National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
  • Ron Lessard, Chief of Staff, White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, U.S. Department of Education
  • Ais Murray, MD, Public Health Advisor, Indian Health Service, Division of Behavioral Health
  • Amber Richardson, Program Coordinator, Center for Native American Youth, The Aspen Institute
  • Jeffrey D. Schulden, MD, Medical Officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Delores Subia Bigfoot, PhD, Director, Indian Child Trauma Center
  • Lisa Wexler, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, Community Health Education, Department of Health Promotion and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Steven Whitehorn, LCSW, LCASA, Public Health Advisor, Indian Health Service, Division of Behavioral Health
  • Marilyn Zimmerman, MSW, Director, National Children’s Trauma Center