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Native Connections:

Providing Suicide and abuse prevention training

Our Staff:

Gloria Wolfe, Project Coordinator

Our Services

In November 2016, the Yakutat Community Health Center was awarded a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Native Connections grant.  This five-year program helps American Indian and Alaska Native communities identify and address the behavioral health needs of Native youth.  This project focuses on reducing substance use and risk of suicide as well as promoting protective factors in all youth up to age 24.

Youth Involvement
Opening Hours:








9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm

9:00am – 5:00pm



Clinic is closed for lunch from 12-1 p.m.

Behavioral Health appointments may be available on Saturdays by appointment.

The Yakutat Youth Coalition (YYC) serves as the advisory committee for the grant and is charged with identifying youth resources, strengthening support systems and planning activities designated by the youth.  The mission statement of the Youth Coalition is “Creating healthy opportunities, building leadership, and having fun!”  Each meeting starts with an activity that teaches emotional intelligence with an end goal of youth learning to promote their mental health.

The Youth Coalition has also identified their goals as:

  • Sponsoring youth activities;

  • Holding fundraisers; and

  • Service (giving back to their community)

2018 Connect Postvention Training

Current Activities
  • Leadership

Youth Coalition meetings occur every other Friday at 2:10 pm in the high school


  • Activities

During the 2017 school year, Native Connections has sponsored daily homework club, family fun activities, school lunch, game nights, movie nights and a camp-in.


  • Services

School-based Youth Counseling services are available Tuesdays and Thursdays and on an as-needed basis through Brenda Thayer, LPC.

Summer Activities
  • 2017-2021 High school classes - American Indian Life Skills Development

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among American Indians 15 to 24 years old, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The estimated rate of completed suicides among American Indians in this age group is about three times higher than among comparably aged U.S. youth overall (37.4 vs. 11.4 per 100,000, respectively). American Indian Life Skills Development is a school-based suicide prevention curriculum designed to address this problem by reducing suicide risk and improving protective factors among American Indian adolescents 14 to 19 years old. The curriculum includes lesson plans covering topics such as building self-esteem, identifying emotions and stress, increasing communication and problem-solving skills, recognizing and eliminating self-destructive behavior, learning about suicide, role-playing around suicide prevention, and setting personal and community goals.  Lessons are interactive and incorporate situations and experiences relevant to American Indian adolescent life, such as dating, rejection, divorce, separation, unemployment, and problems with health and the law. Lessons are delivered by teachers working with community resource leaders and representatives of local social services agencies. This team-teaching approach ensures that the lessons have a high degree of cultural relevance even if the teachers are not Native American or not of the same tribe as the students.  Brenda Thayer, as the Prevention Specialist and Counselor will serve as the on-site curriculum coordinator.​


  • Community Crisis Response and Postvention Planning Coalition

This coalition is comprised of crisis response agency representatives including the Yakutat Community Health Center, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, City and Borough of Yakutat, Yakutat Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, Yakutat School District, Yakutat volunteer Fire Department, Sitka Counseling and Prevention, US Forest Service, Alaska Airlines, Department of Transportation, local churches and local businesses.  This Coalition will serve as the forum for these agencies to review and update their policies and procedures while working toward the goal of creating a comprehensive community crisis response plan.

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