Lights! Camera! Action!

by Karen M. Marshall,
Outreach and Training Coordinator

For one day in April here at AIHFS, it was “Lights! Camera! Action!!”

No, not Hollywood visiting – the production crew was two people, a producer and videographer up from Atlanta. The cast was made up of agency staff and community members. The scene was our wonderful murals in the Social Hall. Still, it was a day to remember!

AIHFS and the Sacred Bundle Program were selected by the federal agency SAMHSA (Substance Abuse, Mental Health Services Administration) to be featured in its monthly Road to Recovery series. The show appears on the SAMHSA YouTube channel, and on Public Radio and Television stations, throughout this month. A link to the program is at the bottom of this page!

This month’s topic is the roles anyone can play in reducing suicide deaths and attempts. Our Sacred Bundle Youth Suicide Prevention project is designed to make positive differences in the lives of people who may think there is no help and no hope. We are determined to support communities that want and need a safety net for those at risk of suicide. Things are changing in positive ways!

The Road to Recovery program includes a panel discussion with four experts in the field. There are two more Michigan connections there –  Amelia Lehto with Common Ground Resource and Crisis Center in Pontiac and Polly Gipson, PhD, from the University of Michigan.

Here is a wrap-up of what Sacred Bundle has achieved so far:

  • Its first round of grant funding, received in 2012, was for three years. Continuation funding was awarded in 2015, this time for five years.
  • The major focus includes:
    • Suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and post-vention trainings and services in the urban counties in and around Detroit; now expanded to the federally-recognized tribes throughout the state.
    • Hope & Wellness screenings of young people ages 10 – 24 for depression, suicidality, and substance use in a variety of community settings including powwows;
    • Referral resources, including those that are culturally-appropriate for our community;
    • Specialized programs on a variety of topics; and
    • Outreach with informational materials at meetings, seminars and events.
  • Sacred Bundle works at AIHFS with the Dream Seekers youth programming, as well as with Emotional and Spiritual Wellness, Health Education, and the medical team, to make AIHFS a suicide-safer organization.
  • Formal data collection and evaluation through the University of Michigan.
  • Partnerships that range from the internal programs mentioned above, to 5 of the 12 tribes, to the State of Michigan (which also has the same SAMHSA grant we do), to a number of smaller, locally-based organizations involved in the same work.

All of this is funded through the Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention grant program, which has supported state and tribal projects for more than a decade. It was an honor to be chosen from the SAMHSA grantees to be featured in this month’s Road to Recovery!

What does all of this mean for you?

First, I hope you’ll take a look at the show, then share it with people you know who wonder what goes on at AIHFS in addition to medical and behavioral health care, and cultural activities. If you have questions or want to be involved in some way, please contact me at (313) 846-6030, ext. 1404, or by email at

Second, there truly is a role for all of us in saving lives from suicide … with a little bit of training, you can be the friend, family member, co-worker, or complete stranger who recognizes that a person is struggling with thoughts of suicide, and you can know what to do to help.

We are busy partnering with tribes around the state and supporting the lifesaving work of suicide prevention wherever we can. Please join us …


Here is the program link:
AIHFS is in 2 different sections of the show, at 23:52 and then again at 41:58.