In partnership with Lines for Life, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs have dedicated a satellite YouthLine call center on the Warm Springs reservation in Central Oregon.
As we partner with the Warm Springs community, tribal elders, and service programs, our shared goals are to destigmatize discussions of mental health, increase help-seeking behavior, and adapt our peer-to-peer support services and educational programming to meet the specific cultural needs of tribal youth. We know that suicide disproportionately impacts Native youth, and that connections to community and culture are significant protective factors.
“This Native American Heritage Month, we want to share that Native ways and practices are something we celebrate every day. We are teaching the ways of our ancestors to our young people while challenging ourselves to address generational traumas and talk about mental health.”
“When we started discussing this partnership over three years ago, we all agreed that providing youth with access to services and resources was our first goal; then offering opportunities to be involved in the work itself. We talked with tribal leaders about the various barriers Native youth who are interested in volunteering with YouthLine might face, and how to address those barriers. It is critical that we continuously provide support and resources to Native communities with intention and responsibility.”
In addition to training youth to respond to helpline contacts with YouthLine, the program will incorporate cultural arts, traditional practices, and group activities with tribal leaders – and invite young people to become ambassadors for mental wellness in their own communities. The call center is located near the Warm Springs Prevention Team and the Culture & Heritage Center, facilitating these program partnerships.