Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Mr. Keith Hansen

Second Committee Member

Dr. Regina Idoate

Third Committee Member

Dr. Juan-Paulo Ramírez


In Nebraska and nationally, American Indian (AI) youth have higher rates of depression, suicide attempts, and suicide completions than other racial and ethnic groups. These statistics highlight the need for accessible and culturally aware behavioral health planning and support. In Nebraska, access to care by AI youth is limited by a behavioral health provider shortage and concerns of affordability, stigma, trust, cultural competence, and historical trauma. The developed culturally humble suicide prevention program for AI youth aged 19-24 to be implemented in community settings addresses an existing service gap. Strategies were developed with input from the population of focus, and attention was given to Indigenous research methodology and ethical principles in order to maximize community engagement and ownership. Similarly, the program was designed with an awareness of the unique dynamics, viewpoints, and traditions of the different tribal cultures. Program development was completed in collaboration with the Santee Sioux Nation Society of Care, an inter-tribal initiative dedicated to partnering with self-identified young AIs, their caregivers, and strategic partners throughout Nebraska to enhance the quality of life of youth, families, and communities.

Available for download on Saturday, October 24, 2020

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