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Culturally-Based, Family-Centered Prevention


This intervention project is a 14-session group experiential learning program directed to Aboriginal children aged 10-12 and their parents or caretakers.

Also known as “Bi-Zin-Da-De-Dah: Listening to One Another,” the program builds on currently recognized strategies in suicide prevention supplemented with additional interventions directly addressing cultural continuity, mental health literacy, family functioning and parenting. The intervention focuses on a culturally specific approach to strengthening family interactions, teaching parenting skills (through breakout sessions for parents), teaching social skills, refusal skills, and coping mechanisms to both adolescents and parents, and re-connecting the generations through interactions and participation of community elders.

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Project Details


This project is funded under a grant from Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Innovation Strategy/Population Health Fund Grant (6785-15-2010/3381091). Much of this project is based on two decades of work with Native American communities as part of  the “Healing Pathways Project”, previously funded by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA13580) and the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH67281) and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01AA020299).


Les Whitbeck and Devan Crawford (UNL); Lawrence Kirmayer (McGill University); Melissa Walls (UM-Duluth). The Healing Pathways project team included Dr. Les Whitbeck, Dr. Dan Hoyt, Dr. Melissa Walls, and Dr. Kelley Sittner Hartshorn.