American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth are strong and resilient. Health resources that improve their mental health and help-seeking skills are especially important, particularly those that include culturally-relevant teachings and relatable role models.
HealthyNativeYouth.org houses culturally responsive evidence-based curricula designed to celebrate American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth of all ages. The website is designed for educators, parents and caring adults who engage Native youth.
The site includes resources to help nurture mental health with AI/AN students.
The multi-media BRAVE lesson plans are designed for AI/AN teens and young adults to amplify and reinforce healthy social norms and cultural values, teach suicide warning signs, prepare youth to initiate difficult conversations with peers and trusted adults, encourage youth to access mental health resources (i.e. tribal clinics, chat lines), and connect youth to trusted, caring adults.
The curriculum includes:
- A Facilitator Manual that can be flexibly delivered in three formats.
- The program includes text messages, role model videos, and small group activities.
- The lessons can be easily integrated into the flow of services provided by schools, treatment or detention centers, and other community-based programs.
Program participants reported improvements in mental health, reductions in alcohol & drug misuse, improvements in resilience and coping skills, and better self-esteem – even as it was delivered in the midst of the COVID pandemic.