American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 54, Issue 1–2, pp 140–152 | Cite as

Creating Qungasvik (A Yup’ik Intervention “Toolbox”): Case Examples from a Community-Developed and Culturally-Driven Intervention

  • Stacy M. RasmusEmail author
  • Billy Charles
  • Gerald V. Mohatt
Original Article


This paper describes the development of a Yup’ik Alaska Native approach to suicide and alcohol abuse prevention that resulted in the creation of the Qungasvik, a toolbox promoting reasons for life and sobriety among youth. The Qungasvik is made up of thirty-six modules that function as cultural scripts for creating experiences in Yup’ik communities that build strengths and protection against suicide and alcohol abuse. The Qungasvik manual represents the results of a community based participatory research intervention development process grounded in culture and local process, and nurtured through a syncretic blending of Indigenous and Western theories and practices. This paper will provide a description of the collaborative steps taken at the community-level to develop the intervention modules. This process involved university researchers and community members coming together and drawing from multiple sources of data and knowledge to inform the development of prevention activities addressing youth suicide and alcohol abuse. We will present case examples describing the development of three keystone modules; Qasgiq (The Men’s House), Yup’ik Kinship Terms, and Surviving Your Feelings. These modules each are representative of the process that the community co-researcher team took to develop and implement protective experiences that: (1) create supportive community, (2) strengthen families, and (3) give individuals tools to be healthy and strong.


American Indian and Alaska Native Community based participatory research Community intervention Suicide Substance abuse Youth 



This research was funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Center for Research Resources [R21AA016098-01, RO1AA11446; R21AA016098; R24MD001626; P20RR061430]. We also want to thank all of the People Awakening Team including participants, community co-researchers, community planning groups, our Coordinating Councils and our project staff for their assistance in completing this research.


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Copyright information

© Society for Community Research and Action 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stacy M. Rasmus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Billy Charles
    • 1
  • Gerald V. Mohatt
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Alaska Native Health Research, Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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