Senators Udall, Heinrich Announce $4.39 Million for Tribal Suicide, Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence Prevention

Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that several New Mexico Tribes and organizations will be receiving a total of $4.39 million over five years to prevent suicide, fight drug abuse and combat domestic violence through the Indian Health Service’s Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) programs. The MSPI program provides support for Tribal communities to develop culturally appropriate prevention and treatment methods for suicide and drug abuse, particularly methamphetamine. Similarly, the DVPI program helps Tribes prevent domestic violence and support survivors.

Native communities are at a higher risk for suicide and substance abuse, especially Native youth. Suicide rates among Native Americans ages 15 to 24 are more than double the national average. And according to the National Congress of American Indians, an estimated three in five Native women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.

The New Mexico Tribes and organizations receiving suicide and drug abuse prevention funding through the MSPI program are the Pueblos of Isleta, Acoma, Ohkay Owingeh, Sandia, Santo Domingo and Taos; the Ramah Navajo School Board in Pine Hill; First Nations Community HealthSource based in Albuquerque; and Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, which represents the Pueblos of Cochiti, Jemez, Sandia, Santa Ana and Zia. A total of $578,000 will be awarded in the first year, and the funding is expected to be renewed until 2020.

Organizations receiving funding for domestic violence prevention through the DVPI program also include First Nations Community HealthSource and the Ramah Navajo School Board. Additionally, the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council is receiving funding to support programs at the Pueblos of Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Tesuque, Ohkay Owingeh, Nambé, Picuris, Taos and Pojoaque. A total of $300,000 will be awarded in the first year, and the funding is also expected to be renewed until 2020.

“Suicide, drug abuse and domestic violence tear apart too many New Mexico families, and Tribal communities are particularly vulnerable. But we can fight these epidemics through collaboration and strong leadership, and these grants will help support those efforts,” said Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “By adapting prevention programs to the culture and unique needs of New Mexico’s Native communities, this funding will help Tribal communities work to prevent further tragedy. This is a battle we cannot afford to lose — together, we’ll make progress and renew hope, especially among our young people.”

“This funding will help provide support for tribal communities as they combat domestic violence, substance abuse, and suicide,” Heinrich said. “We must ensure that Pueblos and Tribes throughout the state have the resources to provide access to quality care that is often unavailable in rural communities.”

Award amounts each year for five years for the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative program include:

Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council – $150,000
First Nations Community HealthSource – $100,000
Ramah Navajo School Board – $50,000

Award amounts each year for five years for the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative program include:

First Nations Community HealthSource – $100,000
Pueblo of Sandia – $100,000
Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos – $75,000
Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo – $53,000
Pueblo of Isleta – $50,000
Pueblo of Acoma – $50,000
Ramah Navajo School Board – $50,000
Santo Domingo Pueblo – $50,000
Taos Pueblo – $50,000