Linking decolonization and suicide prevention efforts

Colonialism and historical trauma have been linked to disproportionately high rates of suicide in Indigenous communities, yet traditionally suicide prevention rely on clinical, Western-style approaches that can further alienate or traumatize rural Alaskans.

PC CARES is part of an innovation in prevention practice emphasize local control through processes that utilize research evidence, but privilege self‐ determined action based on local and personal contexts, meanings, and frameworks for action. The first of nine PC CARES learning circles focuses on narratives of local people who link the contemporary youth suicide epidemic to 20th century American colonialism, and situates prevention within this context. This article describes the theoretical framework and feasibility and acceptability outcomes for this learning circle, and explains how the educational model engages community members in decolonial approaches to suicide prevention education and practice, serving as a bridge between Western and Indigenous traditions to generate collective knowledge and catalyze community healing.

Trout, L., McEachern, D., Mullany, A., White, L., & Wexler, L. (2018). Decoloniality as a framework for Indigenous youth suicide prevention pedagogy: Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide. American Journal of Community Psychology, 62, 3-4.