Colorado PROFILES, The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)
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Suicide among American Indians and Alaska Natives, particularly adolescents, is a topic of grave concern. Witness the recent series of well publicized suicide epidemics that have plagued the Wind River and Yakima reservations as well as native villages in the Bethel and Kotzebue regions. Accordingly, the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research (NCAIANMHR) proposes to convene nationally recognized experts who are working on a variety of projects that relate directly to the identification of risk factors for and prevention of suicide among Indian and Native adolescents. The participants represent a blend of clinicians, scholars, educators, and planners from federal, state, and tribal service agencies, university programs, and community-based organizations. The American Indian Child Committee of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry and the Indian Health Service's Office of Mental Health Programs will join the NCAIANMHR as cosponsors of this conference. The objectives of the proposed conference are to: 1) review the state-of-the-art in the social, behavioral, and health sciences with respect to research and theory on sociocultural factors in the perception, risk, and prevention of suicide among Indian and Native adolescents; 2) identify gaps in the existing knowledge base as well as promising areas for further study which are of programmatic as well as theoretical significance; 3) indicate the field's readiness, in terms of methods and theory, to pursue these lines of inquiry; 4) develop an agenda and accompanying priorities for the support of both basic and applied research on the prevention of suicide among Indian and Native adolescents, and 5) prepare a set of recommendations to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADAMHA, and other groups or organizations about these priorities and related issues. The conference proceedings, to be issued as one in a series of special monographs distributed through the National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, will represent a major resource document for future research and policy formulation.
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