A/CDP has prepared this proposal in alignment with the National Tribal Behavioral Health Agenda (TBHA) published in December 2016. The mission statement of the Native Connections grant states: Iahki’nikonhrakétskwas (all of us uplift the mind) of our Akwesasró:non youth 24 and younger to work toward reducing the impact of historical, environmental, and current traumas. We will work together today to build a better tomorrow for our youth by providing quality services that focus on using culture to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors and build partnerships to support healthy youth, individuals, families and community.
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Health Services Alcoholism/Chemical Dependency (A/CDP) Native Connections program proposes to continue to enhance and expand culturally-relevant programs aimed at preventing and reducing suicidal behavior and substance abuse, reduce the impact of trauma and promote mental health among Akwesasró:non (The People of Akwesasne, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe) ages 24 and younger. Continuing upon our successes and the trust gained within the community from our 2016 Native Connections grant award, this five-year program will seek to maintain and expand our critical mental health and suicide prevention services in a time of great uncertainty for our entire community, and especially among our youth.
This grant will allow sustainability and expansion of the program by providing funding to serve at least 270 youth within the community, develop COVID-19 practices and protocols in support of the program and strengthen our data collection and evidence-based practices to prevent and reduce suicide among youth. We will expand the membership of the Akwesasne Suicide Prevention Committee and the Akwesasne Coalition for Community Empowerment to increase support, education and continue postvention efforts.
Our guiding principle is to integrate a youth and community-driven approach to developing culturally relevant substance abuse prevention programs and suicide prevention services. The Native Connections program will support the expansion and improvement of our efforts to provide integrated training, education, and information to youth regarding mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. Our goals are to continue to provide, improve, and expand school-based services by offering staff training, peer-leader training, screenings, assessments, and care coordination to youth. We will also develop social marketing/media campaigns to reach our population of focus, and develop and expand services to increase our outreach to Mohawk youth who are attending area schools of higher education to address their behavioral health needs and encourage the use of community resources during a time of crisis or need.
We will conduct a community readiness assessment involving our youth, their families, and community members while working closely with our partners, the Akwesasne Suicide Prevention Committee, the Akwesasne Coalition for Community Empowerment, the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State, and the Salmon River Central School District. The project will assist the A/CDP Program to implement evidence-based strategies, increase youth self-awareness and a connection to resources, and reduce the stigma of being a consumer of mental health and/or substance abuse services. Our purpose is to ensure the social, emotional, and cultural well-being of our community by focusing on the promotion of culturally informed supportive services and the development of resilience among our children and youth for a future that is free from trauma, depression, substance use, and suicide.