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National Indian Health Board Recognized the Behavioral Health Work of Three Distinguished Programs, Individual 
ALBUQUERQUE, NM—May 17, 2019—Today, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) presented the Hope and Healing Behavioral Health Awards during the closing plenary of the American Indian and Alaska Native National Behavioral Health Conference . The recipients were nominated by their peers in three categories – Tribe, program and individual. All recipients are recognized for their work that has enriched and improved American Indian and Alaska Native behavioral health.

“The National Indian Health Board recognizes that behavioral health is critical to Native health and wellness. We also know that many of the people doing this vital work spend much of their time focusing on others, and not themselves, so it’s important to celebrate their achievements, excellence and dedication to our people and programs,” said NIHB Board Chairperson Victoria Kitcheyan. “As we lift their example, we all share in their learnings. As we cheer for them, we discover new energy and inspiration for the work we have before us. So, thank you to all our hard working behavioral and mental health professionals.” 
Program Category – Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Partnership for Success
The Partnership for Success program strategically integrates traditional Lakota knowledge, language, history, spirituality and an overall worldview into interventions. Lower Brule youth and families believe that ‘culture is medicine’ and ‘culture is prevention.’ In addition to culturally adapting evidence-based interventions, staff integrate Lakota best practices such as traditional medicine teachings, oral histories and language, traditional concepts of unity through medicine wheel teachings and the Lakota four life stages roles and responsibilities. 

"We are honored to be chosen for this award. We have had the amazing opportunity to provide training and empower our youth and community to become gatekeepers and natural helpers. The community continues to be good relatives by promoting life, sobriety and overall wellness. Thank you for recognizing the hard work with this award,” said a spokesperson for the Lower Brule Sioux. 
Individual Category – Dedra Tsosie
Mrs. Tsosie is the only school-based mental health counselor in the Fort Defiance Agency on the Navajo Nation and is assigned to the Window Rock Unified School District. Since the start of this school-based mental health program in November 2017, she has scheduled over 350 sessions which includes intakes, counseling, consults, crisis interventions, parental follow-ups and other related services. Mrs. Tsosie has also provided numerous prevention services to a total of 1,860 students on topics that include mental health, bullying, suicide, safety and substance use.

“I am extremely grateful for the NIHB Hope and Healing Behavioral Health award, which would not have been possible without the support from Tsehootsooi Medical Center and the Window Rock School District. Currently, I am the only clinician based in the schools with the goal of helping our Native youth overcome mental health disparities… this award reminds me that I am not alone in this fight. This recognition recharges my spirit,” Tsosie said. 
Tribe Category – Forest County Potawatomi
The Forest County Potawatomi Community’s Not One More media and awareness campaign addresses the opioid epidemic impacting Tribal members, providing education to the people that support those suffering from opioid use disorder. Learn more about the program at: .

“Our youth and families brought their voices to out Executive Council about the suffering and the need for action due to this opioid epidemic. Out of this compassionate and courageous action the Not One More campaign was born. It’s about the people, the togetherness in stating that we care, we don’t want another person dying. The program is powerfully impacting all who are suffering and educating all who need to understand this suffering,” said Ira Frank, Prevention Coordinator for the Tribe.
The 2019 American Indian and Alaska Native Behavioral Health Conference concluded today with a closing plenary session with Dr. Doreen Bird from Kewa Pueblo sharing about her innovative and exciting work in preventing suicide by connecting spirituality with mental health research in Tribal populations.

Learn more about NIHB at:

Social media information:
Facebook: /NIHB1972
Twitter: @NIHB1
Hashtags: #NIHB #BHConference2019 #Nativehealth
About the National Indian Health Board
Founded in 1972, NIHB is a 501(c)3 not for profit, charitable organization providing health care advocacy services, facilitating Tribal budget consultation and providing timely information, and other services to all Tribal governments. NIHB also conducts research, provides policy analysis, program assessment and development, national and regional meeting planning, training, technical assistance, program and project management. NIHB presents the Tribal perspective while monitoring, reporting on and responding to federal legislation and regulations. It also serves as conduit to open opportunities for the advancement of American Indian and Alaska Native health care with other national and international organizations, foundations corporations and others in its quest to build support for, and advance, Indian health care issues.
National Indian Health Board
910 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003