Eve's Fund for Native American Health Initiatives ~ Promoting Native Hope and Wellness

Eve's Fund for Native American Health Initiatives is a non-profit organization that sponsors programs
for literacy, injury prevention, and education for young Native people living on or near the Navajo Nation.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eve's Fund brings HOPE to Navajo teens

Over the last 18 months, the residents of Red Mesa, Arizona, lost three young lives to suicide.

In this community--as in many communities on the Navajo Nation--there is an urgent need to provide Navajo youth with skills and support to help them recognize their own strengths and talents.

They need hope for a better future. They need a reason to live.

On December 1, 2011, a group of 50 ninth graders gathered at Red Mesa High School to learn how they could prevent more suicides among their peers.

The students took part in a two-day program that was sponsored by Eve's Fund and conducted by Dr. Clayton Small, a clinical psychologist and internationally known trainer in the areas of suicide prevention, team-trust building and youth leadership development.

The Native HOPE (Helping Our People Endure) workshop is a culturally based peer-counseling program that addresses suicide prevention and related risk factors such as substance abuse, violence, trauma/stress and depression.

The curriculum is based on the theory that most suicides are preventable, if Native youth can break the “Code of Silence” and learn to help and support each other.

During the workshop, the Red Mesa teens participated in a variety of activities that incorporated Native culture, traditions, spirituality, ceremonies and humor. The students learned to rely on one another and gained some strategies for dealing with anger and other emotions, including the painful feelings that arise after a relationship breaks up.

If you'd like to read more about the two-day workshop, check out these articles in the Navajo Times and the Native News Network.

Eve's Fund would like to sponsor more of these workshops in other Native communities. Please help us by donating if you can. We would also appreciate your comments below.

Warm thanks and please share your thoughts below.
Barbara Crowell Roy

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