Wabanaki Health and Wellness

Program Name:  Wabanaki Health and Wellness
Grant Type:  Garrett Lee Smith Tribal
Grant Status:  Active
Year Awarded:  2019
State:  Maine

Wabanaki Health and Wellness (WHW), in partnership with Wabanaki Public Health (WPH) recognizes that there is an ongoing need to increase infrastructure support and capacity to adequately serve Native American youth from the five tribal communities in Maine (Aroostook Band of Micmac; Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians; Passamaquoddy – Pleasant Point; Passamaquoddy – Indian Township; and Penobscot Nation, are known as the Wabanaki, the People of the First Light). Additionally, it is necessary to improve the system of care for behavioral health treatment, suicide prevention, and recovery for community members. Equally important, is the level of ongoing supports and services offered to parents, guardian’s, and caregivers; many of whom lead single-parent households, living in rural areas who need assistance with the complexities of raising a family. WHW and WPH seeks funding to improve and increase suicide prevention programming with the ultimate goal of decreasing youth suicide attempts and completions. To do this, we are proposing a project that will substantially increase the capacity of the behavioral health system, improve the suicide data surveillance system, and improve and enhance the system of behavioral health care. This will be accomplished by (1) leveraging and expanding youth prevention strategies using evidence-based strategies to increase community engagement, (2) expanding current case management and peer programs (3) increase connections between Tribal providers (i.e. health clinic, juvenile justice, foster care, etc.) for screening and referral to services providing opportunities for early identification and intervention (4) conducting community, parent, and provider trainings to raise awareness and support, (5) building crisis intervention teams to provide support for attempted and completed suicides, (6) collaborating with a higher education partner, University of Nebraska Medical School to develop a youth mental health and suicide surveillance system, and (7) ensuring all activities are grounded in culture.