Previous research conducted by Dr. Teresa Brockie at Fort Peck has shown that historical trauma is associated with suicidal ideation in adolescents. Dr. Brockie’s work further found communal mastery, tribal identity, and attachment to education was protective against substance use and risk of suicide in this population. In response to these findings the community has worked with Dr. Brockie to develop the Little Holy One intervention.
The project’s goal is to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors related to youth suicide and substance abuse, starting in early life. This goal will be addressed through intervention curriculum comprised of three components:
- Four mental health focused lessons designed to help parents/caregivers address their own experiences of stress and trauma
- Four lessons focused on developing parenting skills, adapted from Family Spirit
- Four cultural components designed to increase tribal identity and communal mastery
Cultural components are a key innovation of this study; a single case experimental design (SCED) will be used to measure the impact of these components. Cultural components have been developed through meetings with the community and tribal cultural experts from Fort Peck Reservation. The community partnership used to develop these components embodies the community-based participatory research approach taken at all phases of the Little Holy One study.