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American Indian Life Skills Development


This manual is available via several online/bookstore options and can also be purchased here.

Am Indian.jpg

Mental Health Literacy Component Inventory

Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health: ADDRESSED

Understanding mental health disorders and their treatments: NOT ADDRESSED

Decreasing stigma: ADDRESSED

Understanding how to seek help effectively: ADDRESSED

Learning Standard Inventory

Based on learning standards provided by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Compare & contrast emotional, mental + behavioral illness, mental well-being and concurrent disorders

Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people

Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide




Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns


Describe laws related to minors accessing mental health care


Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional and mental and behavioral health


A school-based, culturally sensitive, suicide-prevention program for American Indian adolescents, also known as Zuni Life Skills Development. Themes this program covers 1) building self-esteem, 2) identifying emotions and stress, 3) increasing communication and problem-solving skills, 4) recognizing and eliminating self-destructive behavior, 5) information on suicide, 6) suicide intervention training, and 7) setting personal and community goals. The curriculum also incorporates three domains of well-being that are specific to tribal groups: 1) helping one another, 2) group belonging, and 3) spiritual belief systems and practices. Lessons are interactive and incorporate situations and experiences relevant to AI/AN adolescent life such as friendship issues, rejection, divorce, separation, unemployment, and problems with health and the law.

Materials, Evidence and Implementation


Resources/Materials: Manual
•Fidelity Measure: Yes (observation tool)
•Student learning measure: Yes (pre and post knowledge)


- 1 Study (peer-reviewed)
- Quasi-experimental
- 101 freshman and 27 junior students (14-19 yrs old)
- Students exposed to the curriculum scored better than the no-intervention group at posttest on suicide probability and hopelessness. In addition, the intervention group showed greater ability to perform problem-solving and suicide intervention skills in a behavioral assessment.


•Program Material Cost: $35/manual
•Modality: Classroom Curriculum

•Setting: Health, language arts, social studies, culture classes
•Grade level(s): High School
•Who delivers the program: Teacher, School Psychologist, Counselor, Prevention/ Interventionist/ Recovery Specialist
•Qualifications/Training needed?: Yes

•Training Description: Highly recommend AILS Key Leader Orientation 3-day training for groups of 20. Cost is $1,800 plus travel expenses of the trainer for the time of training.
•Virtual option?: No
•Length: ~50 lessons, ~40 min each, 3 times per week




This manual is available via several online/bookstore options and can also be purchased here.

Am Indian.jpg
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