Seattle Indian Health Board
The mission of the Seattle Indian Health Board is to advocate for, provide, and ensure culturally appropriate, high quality, and accessible health and human services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Learn more.
We need to find more effective ways to better collaborate with Native youth to identify the necessary resources and ways to communicate to reduce Native youth suicide in King County.
Duration: 5 month volunteer project with AIGA’s Changemaker Series
Team: Alyson Dietz (UX), Anatolia Au (Research), Jerusalem Zewolday (Strategy), Evan Dull (Visual), Chris Dugovich (Copywriting)
Individual contributions: UX strategy and insights, “Strategic Event Planning” for final outreach toolkit, layout/visual design for final deliverables
To learn more about the client’s needs, we arranged a site visit to tour the SIHB facilities and meet with the staff. We sat down with the youth services team to understand the work they are doing and the challenges they are facing. A primary concern among the team was that they are struggling to connect local American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth to the many services and resources available.
Meeting the Youth Council
The SIHB youth services team has recently formed a Youth Council with local AI/AN youth. We wanted to leverage this as an opportunity to learn directly from the kids about what is important to them and what types of resources or activities they would be interested in. Myself and our team researcher attended one of the Youth Council meetings and facilitated discussion and activities to learn more about the kids, their daily life, and why they were part of the council.
Brainstorming possible solutions
Early on, we decided as a team we would focus our efforts on preventative measures. Ultimately, SIHB aims to reduce suicide rates among Native youth. As designers, we knew that our skills would be most suited in helping SIHB connect with youth to provide preventative resources. We met over the course of multiple Saturdays to hold brainstorming sessions.
Our researcher, Anatolia, also conducted multiple interviews with various stakeholders from SIHB and local Native organizations. As a team, we utilized the multitude of literature that has already been published in order to learn more about Native youth culture and ways to address youth suicide.
Youth Outreach Toolkit
After processing all of our research findings and meeting with the SIHB staff to present possible solutions, we landed on a final solution: create a Youth Outreach Toolkit.
We found during our discovery phase that while there are tons of resources and services provided for AI/AN youth, there is a need for more structure and planning so that those services can be properly utilized. In particular, the Youth Council was in need of a more coherent vision and a way to plan out their goals and activities.
We decided to create an outreach toolkit, which would include both big picture and detailed guidelines for youth outreach. It was really important to us that the final deliverable be something that SIHB and the Youth Council would be able to evolve and scale as they grow.
The final toolkit contains the following:
Folder with all the research compiled during the project
Ecosystem showing where SIHB fits in to the King County Native services. Includes a spreadsheet with potential partnership opportunities.
Strategic Annual Planning worksheets: focus specifically on big picture goals and vision
Strategic Event Planning worksheets: focus on breaking down larger goals into bite size pieces and specific details
Two future vision documents that outline a possible mentorship program and ways SIHB can better connect with local schools.
The final product was delivered in two formats: editable digital files and a printable PDF. I designed the final PDF, which can be viewed below. The images on the cover are digitized versions of drawings the kids made during our visit to the youth council meeting.
This was a very challenging and rewarding project. When we were first introduced to our client and received the creative brief, there wasn’t a clear vision for what the final deliverable would. However, this ambiguity allowed us to think creatively and really focus on what the best solution would be.
Working with the SIHB team was such a treat. They were so gracious in helping us to learn more about the Native culture and better understand the issues faced in their community. Throughout the project, I learned a lot about working with a vulnerable population and the importance of true empathy of my users. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to use my skills in design thinking to create a product with positive social impact.