The overall purpose of this study is to develop a mobile mental health app and game that builds emotional and social resiliency in Native American youth living in the Hopi/Tewa community. The app is called SUNRISE (Social and Emotional Resilience in Youth). We want to engage community members living and working in the Hopi/Tewa community at every step of the development process so that the app is culturally relevant, meaningful, and useful. From previous research, we created a prototype version (called ARORA) that we will use to demonstrate what the app can look like.

We have the following research objectives:

  • Discern Community Needs and Goals surrounding Behavioral mHealth
  • Identify behavioral health concerns and resilience strengths of Hopi community
  • Ideate the design of the SUNRISE mHealth app
  • Characterize mobile broadband availability in Hopi community

Our specific research questions are as follows:
  • What are the community behavioral health needs and goals of the Hopi tribal community as perceived by various community stakeholders?
  • What are culturally relevant ways to assess, measure, and support resilience?
  • What existing behavioral health services are being used by community members that promote community health goals?
  • How do youth and families perceive existing interactive and immersive mHealth interventions, such as games aimed at increasing behavioral health?
  • What are telecommunications challenges that hinder accessibility and adoption of mHealth applications?

The NAU project team will first facilitate meetings with a newly formed Community Advisory Board (CAB) and the Hopi Opportunity Youth Initiative (HOYI) project staff in order to build collaborative partnerships. The purpose of the partnership is to engage in meetings and develop activities that contribute to accomplishing the BeHealthy Workshops. In the BeHealthy Workshops, the NAU project team will gain feedback about a new telephone app, called SUNRISE, which encourages emotional and social resilience and mental health in Hopi youth. Community members and youth will be asked to trial the app and provide feedback about its usefulness, cultural relevance and engagement.

Interested in being a participant?

We are looking for youth ages 14-26 and their families living in the Hopi/Tewa community who are interested in sharing their stories of cultural well-being and resilience and sharing their opinions about how mobile phone apps should be designed to help strengthen resilience. We are also interested in talking to educators, counselors, and health care providers who work with Hopi & Tewa youth.

Sign up here.

Have questions? Contact Morgan Vigil-Hayes at

928-523-4863 //