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Mathuram Santosham Chair in Native American Health
Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Social and Behavioral Interventions

Center & Institute Affiliations

Victoria M. O’Keefe, PhD, MS, works to achieve strengths-based and culturally informed suicide prevention, mental health promotion, and wellness among Indigenous communities.

Contact Info

415 N. Washington Street

Research Interests

American Indian; Alaska Native; Indigenous; Mixed Methods; Suicide; Self-Injury; Psychology; Mental Health

Experiences & Accomplishments

As a Cherokee Nation citizen and a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, my community-based participatory research with Indigenous communities focuses on strengths-based and culturally-informed suicide prevention, mental health promotion, and wellness.

Honors & Awards

National Institute of Mental Health "Women Leading Mental Health Research" (2023)

John Carroll University Young Alumni Award (2023)

Cherokee Nation Community Leadership Individual Award (2020)

Psychologists in Public Service Wayfinder Award, American Psychological Association, Division 18 (2015)

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship (2012-2015)

Select Publications

Select publications

  • O’Keefe, V. M., Maudrie, T. L., Cole, A. B., Ullrich, J. S., Fish, J., Hill, K. X., White, L.A., Redvers, N., Jernigan, V. B. B., Lewis, J. P., West, A. E., Aqpik Apok, C., White, E. J., Ivanich, J. D., Schultz, K., Lewis, M. E., Sarche, M. C., Gonzalez, M. B., Parker, M., Neuner Weinstein, S. E., McCray, C. J., Warne, D., Black, J. C., Richards, J. R. R., & Walls, M. L. (2023). Conceptualizing Indigenous strengths-based health and wellness research using group concept mapping. Archives in Public Health, 81(17).

  • O’Keefe, V. M., Waugh, E., Grubin, F., Cwik, M., Chambers, R., Ivanich, J., Weeks, R., & Barlow, A. (2022). Development of “CULTURE FORWARD: A Strengths and Culture Based Tool to Protect Our Native Youth from Suicide.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 28(4), 587-597.

  • O’Keefe, V. M., Fish, J., Maudrie, T. L., Hunter, A. M., Tai Rakena, H. G., Ullrich, J. S., Clifford, C., Crawford, A., Brockie, T., Walls, M., Haroz, E. E., Cwik, M., Whitesell, N. R., & Barlow, A. (2022). Centering Indigenous knowledges and worldviews: Applying the Indigenist Ecological Systems Model to youth mental health and wellness research and programs. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(10), 6721. https://

  • O’Keefe, V. M., Maudrie, T. L., Ingalls, A., Kee, C., Masten, K. L., Barlow, A., & Haroz, E. E. (2021). Development and dissemination of a strengths-based Indigenous children’s storybook: “Our Smallest Warriors, Our Strongest Medicine: Overcoming COVID-19”.   Frontiers: Sociology, 6, 611356.

  • O’Keefe, V. M., Cwik, M. F., Haroz, E. E., & Barlow, A. (2021). Increasing culturally responsive care and mental health equity with Indigenous community mental health workers. Psychological Services, 18(1), 84-92. doi:10.1037/ser0000358