» View other MSPI Spotlight Programs

A Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Pueblo Country;
The Work of Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos

FSIP crisis team rallying to support suicide prevention efforts

The Community of Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos (FSIP or Five Sandoval) recognizes the serious threat that methamphetamine and suicide pose to our local American Indian and Alaska Native communities. To address this threat, FSIP designed its MSPI program to address the methamphetamine and suicide problem at its root --through prevention, awareness education and outreach. Over the course of the MSPI, Five Sandoval has accomplished a number of ambitious program goals. One of Five Sandoval’s most impressive achievements is a toolkit which was developed in collaboration with other community partners called Honoring Life in Native Communities: Creating a Suicide Prevention Plan or Protocol: A Tool Kit for Behavioral Health Service Providers.

Five Sandoval presented the toolkit to a diverse group of several hundred community members, Tribal leaders, and behavioral health service providers in November, 2011. One hundred people preregistered for the one day event, but when the doors opened the morning of the November 17th, the MSPI staff members were surprised and delighted to find more than two hundred people interested in attending the day’s activities. In addition to community support, many of the local news broadcasters had come out to cover the story of the unique toolkit and the people who made the idea a reality. Tribal Governors from Zia, Santa Ana and Cochiti spoke to the audience about trainings that were happening in their communities as a result of Five Sandoval’s prevention outreach. The event drew people from all over Pueblo country.

The event’s success rippled out beyond the day. Shortly after the toolkit rollout, the Five Sandoval team rallied outside the New Mexico legislature offices for days to show their support for suicide prevention efforts and to educate lawmakers on Five Sandoval’s MSPI program. The dedication of the Five Sandoval team and the success of the toolkit helped provide the momentum needed to pass Senate Bill 95 Native American Suicide Prevention.

Since unveiling the toolkit, the Five Sandoval MSPI team has put together a Crisis Team of twelve members to help educate the community on suicide warning signs and how to respond. Five Sandoval MSPI also has participated and supported culturally focused, prevention activities, where community members take part in traditional craft making. The MSPI team aims to develop and implement programming that emphasizes and nourishes resiliencies that already exist in the Native community using the art of Natural Coping Skills. The Five Sandoval team believes that building on existing strengths provides the surest way to ensure program sustainability and community wellbeing.

On June 9th 2012, Five Sandoval MSPI plans to hold their next big event -- a “Hoops for Life” basketball tournament at Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute where the focus will be on strengthening protective factors in the younger generation of Indian Country. Sounds like a slam dunk in the making!