The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians (SYBCI) proposes the Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) program to address the problem of suicide in our remote rural reservation community. The Santa Ynez Tribal Health Clinic (SYTHC) is the implementing agency for the tribe and is located in Santa Ynez. The population of focus is Native American youth between the ages of 12 to 24 years. MHAT will provide targeted serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbances (SED) training for 600 youth, young adults, and their interconnected support systems within Santa Barbara County.
Our vision is to support a community of caring adults, strong families, and informed agencies to promote wellbeing, prevent suicide and substance abuse, and address trauma among indigenous youth. Our goal is to destigmatize SMI and SED by identifying characteristics of both and sharing data with the community about how prevalent it is within the community, highlighting the experience of Native Americans living in the county, and create opportunities for learning through trainings, workshops, and support services. We propose focusing training on three specific groups: youth and young adults, tribal community members, and partner agencies within the local community who serve our Native people.
The MHAT program will engage trainings focused on providing Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) as well as culturally-appropriate learning and resources to multiple sectors within the tribal community in order to broaden impact of the grant work and expand reach within the Native community for those experiencing challenges related to SMI and SED or those supporting someone through challenges with SMI and SED. This will be completed by annual completion of a variety of activities including: two (2) mental health resource ads about SMI or SED, educational training about mental illness to at least 120 people each year, development and distribution of one (1) community survey to gauge awareness of mental health resources in the community and stigma, six (6) meetings with youth council or leadership to elicit feedback and input, identification of up to ten (10) community partners to gather information about resources and services for those with SMI or SED, one (1) referral or protocol developed related to best practices for responding to people displaying signs of SMI or SED, one (1) annual training of EBP for grant staff to serve as community trainers, dissemination of at least 1,000 outreach items with mental health resources at schools, tribal offices, and recreational centers, and the creation of one (1) report system to track frequency of skill use by trainees.