In order to better serve the needs of American Indian youth ages 6 to 24, IHCRC began a redesign and reinvigoration of its youth programs last year. The team noted that while suicide and drug use prevention remain crucial, IHCRC's youth programs must also be designed to address one of the most important characteristics of care for American Indians, attentiveness to the four aspects of an individual's nature (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual).
To this end, IHCRC's new youth program is an innovative multi-faceted and multi-disciplined integration of services. Six primary components ensure a well-rounded, comprehensive program focused on the whole person. Those six components ensure a well-rounded, comprehensive program focused on the whole person. Those six components encompass (1) a youth leadership, mentoring and volunteer program, (2) nutrition education, (3) fitness and health, (4) family strengthening, (5) cultural connections, and (6) behavioral health including substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention and a new LGBTQ2S+ program funded by The Upswing Fund.
IHCRC will begin using Plant Teachings for Growing Social-Emotional Skills. The classes
taught through this book include information on how plants teach us resilience and strength. The youth will also learn to fish with regular fishing trips added to the program. In addition to the ever popular Running Strong Club, IHCRC will offer individual youth fitness programs focusing on weight control, strengthening, and movement.
Bi-monthly family fun activities will get the entire family moving together. Each family fun activity will include nutrition education, a healthy meal (sometimes cooked by the families) and a fun activity to help get people moving. Events will range from family competition nights to outings at local parks, zoos, botanic gardens, and nature centers.