The Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) proposed Native Connections Project will develop/revise policies and procedures to promote care coordination and postvention, implement evidence-based mental health trainings, and provide prevention activities and cultural workshops to promote mental health among Alaska Native/American Indian (AN/AI) youth through the age of 24 in Kodiak, Alaska.
Kodiak Island is a 100-mile long island in the Gulf of Alaska, separated from the Alaska mainland by the roughly 30-mile wide Shelikof Strait, surrounded by smaller islands of various sizes. KANA provides comprehensive services to over 2,500 AN/AI residents in the Kodiak region, providing primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services, as well as wrap-around services to the AN/AI population of the City of Kodiak and the surrounding villages. In the Kodiak region, AN/AI youth who reported suicidal ideation or self-harm urges within the year prior to their intake for behavioral health services has increased. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, 11 AN/AI youth reported suicidal ideation or self-harm compared to 19 youth in FY 2019. While AN/AI youth receiving substance use services decreased from 30 to 23 between FY 2018 to FY 2019, youth receiving any behavioral health service, including substance use, increased from 94 to 109 youth.
The population of focus of KANA’s proposed Native Connections Project are AN/AI youth through the age of 24 in the Kodiak region. AN/AI youth receiving mental health and substance use services from KANA, and their families, will be the most impacted by the proposed programming. KANA Native Connections Project goals and strategies: Goal 1 - Increase coordination among Kodiak area youth-serving agencies to reduce suicide and substance use as well as promote mental health in AN/AI youth in the Kodiak region. To accomplish this goal, KANA will develop/revise care coordination and postvention policies and procedures; and provide mental health crisis support to at least 10 AN/AI youth in the Kodiak region. Goal 2 - Promote mental health services to reduce suicide and substance use in AN/AI youth throughout the Kodiak region. KANA will implement evidence-based mental health awareness trainings, training at least 75 community members, including 20 youth, in Year 1 and 125 community members, including 40 youth, in Years 2-5; provide a minimum of 20 substance use and/or suicide awareness and prevention activities to 150 youth per year; engage in public messaging to promote mental health awareness on at least 40 occasions per year; and coordinate cultural workshops for 20 youth in Year 1 and 45 youth in Years 2-5 to promote transmission of traditional knowledge, social connectedness, and resiliency in AN/AI youth. Through these activities, KANA will improve service delivery, increase community awareness and response capabilities to mental health concerns, and promote resiliency for the population of focus. KANA anticipates serving 200 AN/AI youth in Year 1 and 245 youth in Years 2-5 through the Native Connections Project. Over the project period, KANA anticipates providing direct services to approximately 550 unique youth.