The Fresno American Indian Health Project (FAIHP) has been awarded a grant of $1 million over the next five years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the Native Connections project a cooperative agreement for tribal behavioral health services.

As a member of CCUIH, we are excited to see FAIHP’s capacity to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of its community increase over the course of this grant. This award is not only a boon to FAIHP, but also for the Native American community across the state of California.

This grant will allow FAIHP to implement interventions that directly address suicide ideation and risk among Native American transitional-aged youth in Fresno. The first year of the project will be dedicated to affirming the most appropriate and culturally relevant interventions with the help of the local community, youth and SAMHSA’s Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center. This will include a system analysis, community needs assessment, and community readiness assessment focused on the needs and experiences of transitional-aged Native American youth in Fresno.

The goals of the project include reducing suicidal behavior among Native youth, reducing the impact of mental health and substance abuse disorders on the community through culturally responsive interventions to respond to the impact of trauma, and to support transitioning youth into adulthood.

“Our community advisory board and youth council identified the need for more support for transitional-aged Native American youth and made this a priority for our agency and community in early 2017. I am pleased that we are able to bring more resources to the community to begin to better meet this important need,” Said Jennifer Ruiz, the Chief Executive Officer of FAIHP.