Tlingit and Haida COVID-19 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Response Initiative Abstract
The Tlingit & Haida COVID-19 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Response Initiative will provide crisis intervention services, mental and substance use disorder treatment, and other related recovery supports for Native families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Project will target more than 200 Native families in Southeast Alaska who have been identified as impacted by, or at risk for, serious emotional disturbance and/or substance abuse disorder, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. The project catchment area will include the Juneau urban area, and the following southeast Alaska Native villages and communities: Craig, Klawock and Kasaan.
Native families in Southeast Alaska are already at extreme risk for mental health problems and related substance abuse problems. Many families in the urban areas have relocated from village settings in an effort to escape extreme poverty and gain employment. When the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are added to other at risk factors, these families find themselves faced with overwhelming mental health and substance abuse challenges due to the isolation and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stresses and pressures on already overburdened Native families has been drastically increased as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Families that have been experiencing domestic violence or child endangerment issues are forced together in a 24 hour lockdown situation, which acts as an absolute powder keg for further violence and abuse. This is especially true for smaller rural Native villages where there is simply no place to run and hide. COVID-19 lockdown produces nothing less than a living nightmare for vulnerable Native women and children.
OBJECTIVE 1/YEAR 1 (MONTHS 1-4): Community Readiness/Strategic Planning: By the end of Month Four, the Tlingit and Haida TFYS Department, in consultation with project partners, will complete a planning, consultation, and service model development effort in preparation for delivery of comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services. Initial assessment of need and severity of conditions will be a simultaneous focus.
OBJECTIVE 2/YEAR 1 (MONTHS 4-12): By the end of Year One, the TFYS Department, in consultation with project partners, will complete pilot implementation efforts for delivery of comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment services under the Tlingit and Haida Covid-19 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Response Initiative; delivery of comprehensive, culturally appropriate care to a minimum of 50 Native families will occur.
OBJECTIVE 3/(MONTHS 12-16): By the end of the 16th month, the TFYS Department, in consultation with project partners, will achieve full program implementation of delivery of comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment services to a minimum 100 targeted Native families most in need of care due to the pandemic, and will develop a sustainability model for the future, drawing on federal, state, tribal and private funding streams.