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Youth Program


Suicide Prevention Services

Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR Training)- QPR is a one-hour course taught in a clear, concise format using the latest in educational technology and practices. The course addresses key components covered in training:

  • How to Question, Persuade and Refer someone who may be suicidal
  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior
  • The warning signs of suicide
  • How to get help for someone in crisis

teen Mental Health First Aid– Teaches high school students how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders among their friends and peers. The training gives students the skills to have supportive conversations with their friends and get a responsible and trusted adult to take over as necessary. It is designed to be delivered in schools or community sites in three interactive classroom sessions of 90 minutes each or six sessions of 45 minutes each.


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)-
ASIST is a two-day, two-trainer, workshop designed for members of all caregiving groups (family, friends, and other community members). ASIST can also provide those in formal helping roles with professional development to ensure that they are prepared to provide suicide first aid help as part of the care they provide. The emphasis is on teaching suicide first-aid to help a person at risk stay safe and seek further help as needed.  Training includes mini-lectures, facilitated discussions, group simulations, and role plays.


H.O.P.E.- Suicide Prevention for American Indian and Alaska Native Crime Victims-
1-day training for crime victim advocates on how to properly identify a victim who is at risk for suicide, intervene and refer them to appropriate care, and appropriately follow-up with the victim.

 

Nikita Shangin, RYAC Secretary distributes mental health awareness posters in Akutan, AK.

In 2019, 34 Anchorage and regional community members were trained in suicide intervention skills.

Gathering of Alaska Natives (GOAN)/Gathering of American Indians (GONA)- A GONA is a culture-based planning process where community members gather to address community-identified issues.  It uses an interactive approach that empowers and supports AI/AN tribes.  The GONA approach reflects AI/AN cultural values, traditions, and spiritual practices.

 

SW Alaska Health Education Center Student Services

Southwest Area Health Education Center (AHEC): APIA is one of six regional centers across Alaska. The program’s goal is to implement educational activities involving healthcare professions, and to expose students to primary care delivery in rural and/or underserved areas. The following services are available:

  • AHEC Scholars is a program for healthcare professions students interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or underserved urban settings.
  • Health Career Exploration is a component that exposes primarily students in grades 9-12 to healthcare careers through a variety of approaches that can include career fairs, outreach presentations, job shadows, certificate trainings, healthcare camps, classroom speakers and facility tours.
  • Continuing Education Courses to support rural providers seeking continuing education credits to maintain their certifications.
  • Clinical Rotations offer health students direct connection to preceptors in Southwest Alaska.
  • BLS (Basic Life Support) classes and certification.

 

Are you a current Alaskan high school student in the Aleutians and Bristol Bay region who is interested in exploring the behavioral health field? Register for our Behavioral Health Careers Camp! Careers include psychiatry, social work, art therapy, counseling and much more. Students will hear from leaders in the behavioral health field about how they got to be where they are. Students will also learn about addiction, suicide prevention and wellness strategies. Participants will earn 1 college credit, as well as certifications in QPR Gatekeeper, opioid overdose response (with Narcan® kits available) and one-on-one resume development.

Students must be 14 years old on or before April 19th, 2021. Students must also have access to computer and internet. To register, scan the QR code in this post or find the form here

 


Training Requests-
Requests for specific trainings are also considered through partnerships with community agencies and contractors (i.e. Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience, & Trauma-Informed Care, Mental Health First Aid, SafeTALK, Drumming, Talking Circles, Beading, Carving and other traditional activities allowing for a transmission of tribal history, values and beliefs.


Projects:

2019 Collaborative Traditional Iqyak and Paddle Workshop with Alaska Native Heritage Center- Attendees were led through an interactive hands-on experience with Marc Daniels. Marc Daniels, the builder/teacher for the MakeAccess Iqyax Apprenticeship Project.  He has been leading iqyax building projects over the past two decades in the Unangax villages of the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. The goal has always been to restore the knowledge within the Unangax community, create master iqyax builders and return iqyax use and tradition bearers to the broader Unangax community. https://www.facebook.com/APIAI/videos/1111425022402028/?t=1 

  

Iqyax̂ and Xaayax/Banya Building Project- This project is funded by SAMSHA and IHS grant prevention programming within the Youth Services Division at APIA.  The project revolves around the building of an iqyax̂ and a traditional xaayax/banya on Unalaska Island, but is meant to engage all Unangan far and wide, future and present, via the internet and through the recording of a step-by-step instructional video and future supplemental guide materials. Click here to listen to a radio broadcast about the project:

APIA Youth Services Coordinator, Dustin Newman of King Cove Tribe, shows how the curve of this fir root matches the 120° bend of the agdan that will be sawn and shaped from it. (Credit: Make Access Iqyax Apprenticeships)


2019 Unalaska Youth Culture, Wellness and Creativity Summit-
APIA Health Department Youth Program held an Unalaska Youth Culture Wellness and Creativity Summit on April 16 – 20, 2019 in Unalaska, Alaska. This youth event was well attended by 103 community members and funded by the Methamphetamines and Suicide Prevention Generation Indigenous (MSPI Gen-I) grant with the help of APIA and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). This event was also supported by the Strengthening Our Nets SAMHSA grant and many local Unalaska organizations.

Regional Youth Advisory Council Members:  Top Row (L to R): Raietta Kuzakin (Agdaagux Tribal Member, King Cove), Dustin Newman (Agdaagux Tribal Member, Anchorage), Carter Uttecht (Agdaagux Tribal Member, King Cove), Peyton Kuzakin (Agdaagux Tribal Member, Sand Point), Nikita Margaret (Akutan Tribal Member, Akutan), Cordell Merculief (St. George Traditional Council Member, St. George). Bottom Row (L to R): Makarius Swetzof (Atka IRA Tribal Member, Atka), Charlotte Rutherford (Agdaagux Tribal Member, Anchorage), and Ian Shangin (Akutan Tribal Member, Akutan).

 


Regional Youth Advisory Council (RYAC)

Members of the RYAC represent the 13 APIA tribal communities: Akutan, Atka, Belkofksi, False Pass, King Cove, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski, Pauloff Harbor, Sand Point, St. George, St. Paul, Unalaska, and Unga. Members of RYAC, assist in fulfilling the mission of APIA in these communities. This includes influencing youth related program outcomes, leading wellness campaign projects and implementing healthy activities for teens and young adults.

    • 2109 Fall Regional Youth Advisory Council Advisory Meeting- RYAC youth engaged in leadership development activities that included learning how to use social media platforms for prevention awareness campaigns and increasing community engagement.  Youth elected council leadership and campaigned mental health awareness in their communities through distribution of the Strengthening Our Nets posters.

 

Youth Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is the process of using story and digital media for personal expression.  APIA staff assist a small group of participants in the process of creating their own short, personal stories that are told through a recorded, first-person voiceover, still and/or moving images, and music or sound. Digital stories are often informal in tone and 2-3 minutes in length.  The workshop generally focuses on a theme or topic, allowing the creator’s own voice/perspectives and perhaps those of a group or community to unfold in the story.



Youth Healthy Relationships Training

    • NativeSTAND- Native STAND is a comprehensive sexual health curriculum for Native high school students that focuses on sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy prevention, while also covering drug and alcohol use, suicide, and dating violence.
    • Healthy Relationships Plus Program- Small group sessions that assist youth in making responsible choices.  Emphasis is on mental health, suicide prevention, and addiction prevention.  This program is intended for youth between the ages of 12 and 18.


Alaska Health Education Center Student Services

  • Youth Health Career and Exposure Camps

Projects

  • Teen Mental Health First Aid
  • 2021 Youth Summit – #UnangaxYouth2021 APIA’s Youth Program hosted a Virtual Training for Young Unangax Leaders ages 14 and older on January 22 – 23, 2021. The training was hosted live via APIA’s Facebook page.  This was the first training offered to a live Facebook audience and initial data shows that over 1,000 people have viewed the training.  Youth Program was excited to try this virtual route as a means to share mental health and substance use prevention and intervention information to parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring community members. Youth coordinators are busy planning future educational virtual events in the near future. Please stay tuned in by watching for notification on our social media platforms: APIA Facebook page and our youth Instagram handle @unangaxyouth.  We will also highlight future activities in our monthly youth newsletter, The Tide Pool Times located here: Youth Newsletter |   Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (apiai.org).  Please reach out to our Youth Service Coordinators,  Dustin Newman and/or Jenna Larson if you would like to schedule a training for your community!Summit workshops included: Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Training Overview; Adverse Childhood Experiences Training (ACES); Traditional Food Videos and Discussion; Opioid Overdose Response Training, and Healing and Resiliency Presentation. 

2021 Strengthening our Nets COVID-19 Care Packages 

Youth and young adult friendly books and journals available for use during social distancing and quarantine orders. Many mental health experts recommend journaling because it can improve mood and manage symptoms of depression. Reading is an invaluable but also underutilized resource that can increase empathy, enhance recovery and inspire those with mental health difficulties. Books reflecting and nurturing health, wellness, culture and positive youth development have been selected by program staff and primary/behavioral health providers and are being distributed as “Care Packages” to youth and young adults within APIA communities.

Contact Dustin Newman, APIA Youth Services Coordinator today for your own FREE care package! We care about you and we are excited to provide helpful materials and items to support you in your wellness journey!

Youth Health and Wellness Media Distributions

  • Follow us on Instagram @unangaxyouth to stay tuned in to APIA regional youth activities!
  • Check out our Tide Pool Times monthly newsletter! Our information rich newsletter contains amongst other things, monthly announcements, calendar of events, registration forms, elder/youth stories, competitions, and challenges to get involved and be of service in the community. Check out current and past editions here:  https://www.apiai.org/youth-newsletter/ 


APIA Pen Pals Program

  • The APIA Pen Pals Program partners local youth and Elders in an effort to connect these generations. Many Elders will appreciate and enjoy receiving messages and find comfort in knowing that the next generation will learn and share their stories and historical knowledge. Youth will become better at reading and communication via letter or email and can learn from the Elders they write to.
  • Pen Pals Registration Form- https://www.apiai.org/2021/03/pen-pals-program/

 

Additional APIA Youth Related Services


Youth Services Contact Information

Amy Carlough Youth Program Services Administrator/ SW AHEC Director

Jenna Larson Youth Services Coordinator

Dustin Newman Youth Services Coordinator

Olivia Bridges Youth Services AmeriCorps VISTA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

  • Facebook.com/APIA/
  • Instagram @apiayouthprogramsvc #apiayouth or #apiayouthprogramservices
  • Our on-call Behavioral Health staff can be reached at 1-844-375-2742.
  • The Alaska Careline at 877-266-4357is available anytime or text 4help to 839863 – 3-11pm Tues-Sat. For more information on the Careline go to https://carelinealaska.com/