The Chickahominy Circles of Grace: Healing Youth through Community Connections project will help address substance misuse and mental health challenges by building the Chickahominy Indian Tribe’s capacity to educate the community, reduce the stigma that currently prevents tribal citizens from seeking mental health services, and incorporate protective factors to safeguard tribal youth in the area surrounding the tribal headquarters in Charles City County, Virginia. The population we seek to serve is youth in the tribal community (enrolled citizens and children living with enrolled citizens), which we anticipate will consist of 50 community members between the ages of 0 and 24 during Year 1 of the project and 170 in subsequent years, for an estimated cumulative reach of approximately 220 unique individuals over the lifetime of the grant. In addition to this target population, we also expect to reach the general citizenry, as the project will widely distribute educational resources and create learning opportunities and tribal events to support community connection.
Circles of Grace will employ strategies of professional development for tribal staff across departments who are in a position to bolster protective factors through existing programming and the creation and distribution of targeted mental health resources designed to educate tribal citizens and de-stigmatize mental health services. To build a foundation for durable wellness among the Chickahominy Indian Tribe’s youth, the project established the following goals:
1. To build the Chickahominy Indian Tribe’s capacity to sustainably address youth mental health needs within the tribal community. This goal’s measurable objective will be the development of deliverables including the Disparity Impact Statement, Community Needs Assessment, Community Readiness Assessment, Tribal Strategic Action Plan, Community Engagement Items (i.e., Meeting Agendas, Informational Flyers, Surveys), Youth Advisory Board (Attendance Records and Agendas), Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Partnership Plan (Plan and Memorandums of Understanding), and Postvention Protocols.
2. To provide substance abuse and mental health education to organizational staff and tribal citizens, enabling them to recognize warning signs, and to understand prevention, intervention, and mental health care options relevant to tribal youth. This goal’s measurable objective is the number of mental health educational resources created (number of individual resource sheets created) and disseminated (number of resource sheets distributed) and the number of awareness and education activities attended (Registration and Attendance sheets).
3. To enhance protective factors through existing and new tribal programming through programs that encourage parental resilience and cultural and social connection among tribal youth. This goal’s measurable objective is the number of departments integrating protective factor programming into their project activities (e.g., number of youth cohort activities supported, number of attendees in youth cohorts, number of promotions of protective factor activities) and the number of new programs initiated that integrate and support protective factors for substance misuse and mental health.