CN HERO Project receives honors

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/28/2018 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently recognized the Cherokee Nation’s Behavioral Health HERO Project for its work in suicide prevention and children’s mental health awareness.

The project received three awards, including one gold, one silver and one shining star award, as part of the 2018 Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach program that recognized SAMHSA grantees.

Behavioral Health was recognized for its work in suicide prevention and Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day through the SAMHSA Systems of Care Grant.

“At the HERO Project, HERO stands for Helping Everyone Reach Out, whether it is finding help or a resource for our children, grandchildren, niece, nephew, cousin or friend it is our mission to empower our community,” Children’s Behavioral Health Associate Director Juli Skinner said.

To raise awareness about suicide prevention, the team used social media, a pledge walk, T-shirt giveaways and cultural stories, all themed around the traditional Cherokee story of grandmother spider, to generate conversation and encourage youth to speak out about suicide. Its work on the topic earned it a gold award for overall communications campaign and a shining star honor.

The group was also recognized for its work on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, including outreach, activities and a public service announcement that aired on tribal closed-circuit television. The campaign reached more than 100,000 people, which earned a silver award.

“No one talks about children’s mental health. One of our main goals has been to bring the importance of children’s mental health to the forefront of our tribe and community as a whole,” Behavioral Health Case Manger Ashley Lincoln said. “Through these activities and work with the Cherokee Cabinet for Children and Families we are able to engage families and share information about resources available to them.”

The HERO Project is the children and youth division of CN Behavioral Health and focuses on group, family and individual therapy for families with children ages newborn to 21 years old.

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