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August 20, 2012

Contact: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

SAMHSA awards up to $4.6 million in youth suicide prevention grants to tribes through South Dakota

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that four tribes in South Dakota were being awarded a combined total of up to $4.6 million over the course of the next three years to promote suicide prevention efforts in their communities.  Secretary Sebelius announced the awards during her visit to South Dakota today.

“Suicide is the third leading cause of death among American adolescents.  In fact, more children and young adults die from suicide each year than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, and chronic lung diseases combined and American Indian communities have been particularly hard hit by this public health menace,” said Secretary Sebelius. “The most tragic aspect of this is that suicide is preventable. These grants will help states, tribes and communities across our nation build on and strengthen their youth suicide prevention programs so that they can reach more at-risk youth, giving them the help and hope they need to live long, productive lives.”

The grants are being provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, which provides authorization and funding for grants fostering youth suicide prevention efforts.

The Oglala Lakota College Campus Suicide Prevention Program is receiving up to $102,000 each year for up to three years in Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant funds to serve the 1,800 students of Oglala Lakota College living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and in Rapid City, S.D. These areas have a combined American Indian population of over 50,000.

Three other tribes will receive Garrett Lee Smith State-Sponsored Youth Suicide Prevention Program grants.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Wiconi Wakan Health and Healing Center will receive up to $480,000 each year for up to three years to provide culturally relevant and appropriate youth suicide prevention and early intervention strategies to its community. The Wiconi Wakan Health and Healing Center's overall goal is to increase the number of at-risk youth who are receiving referrals and treatment for behavioral health services.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention/Sweetgrass Project will receive up to $480,000 each year for up to three years to develop and implement a comprehensive and sustainable program to prevent suicide among tribal youth, ages 15-24. This project has been designed to increase community awareness and support, strengthen capacity and resources for early identification of at-risk youth, and develop comprehensive and sustainable systems to prevent youth suicide.

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of South Dakota will receive up to $479,300 each year for up to three years to reach youth aged 12 to 24 living on the Crow Creek Reservation.  This project will advance the goals and objectives laid out in the Tribe’s suicide prevention plan as well as those in the South Dakota Strategy for Suicide Prevention. The goals and objectives of the project include enhancing suicide awareness in the community and school system, building service provider’s capabilities, strengthening collaboration among stakeholder groups, and increasing capabilities of local partners involved in suicide prevention.

The actual grant award amounts for all of these programs will depend on the availability of funds.


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Last revised: April 4, 2014