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IHS announces Meth and Suicide Prevention Initiative Generation-Indigenous Awards

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

WASHINGTON D.C. (KSWO)- Mary L. Smith, IHS principal deputy director, announced 42 Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) funding awards to Tribes, Tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations and IHS federal government programs together totaling more than $7 million for one year. Awardees will focus on increasing positive youth development, fostering resiliency and promoting family engagement among Native youth in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. These awards will provide more access to health services by growing the number of behavioral health providers who specialize in working with children, adolescents, and families with the overall goal of preventing suicide and substance use.

“At the Indian Health Service, we work in partnership with tribal communities to strengthen our national system of health care delivery with the tools and resources to address behavioral health issues facing our patients,” said IHS Principal Deputy Director Mary L. Smith. “Native children, youth and families face adverse experiences, trauma, toxic stress and adversity. However, we know that protective factors provided through caring adults, traditional practices and Native language and culture help offset negative outcomes and foster the long-term development of resilience.”

Generation Indigenous was launched by President Obama in December 2014. Gen I is a Native youth initiative focused on removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunities to succeed. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to help improve the lives and opportunities for Native youth.

President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget for the Indian Health Service proposes additional funding to further expand the MSPI program, proposed to be renamed Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention.

From 2009 through 2015, MSPI supported 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. The awards announced today expand upon the more than $13 million awarded earlier in Fiscal Year 2015.

IHS suicide prevention activities include funding and resources for patients and providers, as well as a wide variety of innovative events and pilot programs, such as Zero Suicide at IHS, that bring culturally appropriate behavioral health care to communities.

For more information on the IHS Office of Clinical and Preventive Services, Division of Behavioral Health, visit http://www.ihs.gov/dbh.

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