Community , Health

ON Counseling Center awarded $2.5 million grant

The Osage Nation Counseling Center plans to use a recently awarded $2.5 federal grant toward a five-year project to treat adolescents and their families or caregivers with substance abuse or mental health disorders.

According to a news release, the Nation received notice of the Youth and Family TREE grant award in August from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant will be distributed in divided amounts over the five-year span with the 2019 awarded amount at about $320,000, according to Jennifer McGlothlin, director of the ON Counseling Center, which applied for the grant.  

According to McGlothlin, the grant focuses “on adolescent youth, ages 12-18, along with their families or primary caregivers with substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health disorders. We will utilize the money to embed a Master’s (degree) level counselor in the high schools of Pawhuska, Hominy, and Fairfax. We are beginning in Pawhuska and will add Hominy and Fairfax next school year. We will be screening the adolescents in that age group, looking for tobacco use, substance use, and family substance use.”

The Nation’s Grants Department assisted the Counseling Center with the application process, as it does with other ON departments applying for federal and outside grant funding opportunities to fund their operations or projects. “Treating drug and alcohol abuse at a young age will increase the likelihood of the person staying sober in the future. It will also help the families to stay sober because they will receive counseling as well,” Chris StandingBear, ON Grants Department director, said in the release regarding the SAMHSA grant.

For other grant funding plans, McGlothlin said: “The really great thing is that this is a wrap-around approach – meaning we aren’t just going to be treating the adolescent – but the entire family. There will be individual counseling and family counseling. We will be teaching coping skills for sobriety, how to function as a family unit, and how to participate in activities for the whole family. At the end of the program (each family will be participating for approximately one year), there will be a graduation ceremony honoring sobriety and the family’s accomplishments. In addition to the family, we are going to be providing education to the staff of each school and in each community about substance use, what to look for, and how to refer the students they are worried about.”

For the remaining years, McGlothlin said the annual grant disbursement amounts will be higher at $540,000 to hire additional counselors for the project.