Connecting With Our Youth

Connecting With Our Youth

Connecting With Our Youth (CWOY) 

The goal of Connecting With our Youth (CWOY) is to cultivate a community-initiated prevention and intervention strategy in Pennington County, South Dakota, that draws on the strengths of Lakota cultural values of generosity, courage, respect, and wisdom. CWOY’s culturally adapted program components include the support navigator program, partner & community training, postvention, and mobile app initiatives. CWOY serves Natives of any age.

What We Do

CWOY is a values-based initiative to reduce the rate of suicide for Native Americans in the He Sapa catchment area. CWOY is informed by Lakota culture values of caring and compassion for all (Waúŋšila), and youth are sacred (Wakȟáŋyeža) to strengthen connections between American Indian youth and their culture. CWOY uses Lakota values to develop culturally-adapted and evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to increase social connectedness, reduce death by suicide and suicide attempt rates, and expand knowledge of how to support American Indian youth. CWOY currently deploys support navigators called CWOY support navigators who are entrusted to work with key stakeholders to provide early intervention and long-term support. Support Navigators serve as advocates, mentors, resource connectors, and good relatives to our youth and families.

Our program's foundation is in the 7 sacred universal laws of the Lakota. 

Waunsila (Compassion)
Wawahwala (Humility)
Woksape (Wisdom)
Wacantognaka (Generosity)
Wowacin Tanka (Fortitude)
Wo'ohitika (Bravery)
Wa'ohola (Respect and Honor) 

Services Offered 

  • One-on-one mentorship
  • Advocacy 
  • Individualized care planning 
  • Outings, activities, and workshops
  • Transportation to appointments 
  • Collaboration with behavioral health resources 
  • Coordinator for success in academic programs 
  • Communication with family members 
  • Connecting participants to peer and community programs in support of healing goals 
  • Skill-building

Criteria For Program 

American Indians of any age living in the He Sapa area (Pennington County) who have at least one of the following are invited to participate:

  • At risk for suicide
  • Experience with ongoing suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Severe substance misuse
  • Isolationist behavior
  • Recent experience with high-level trauma 

Connecting With Our Youth-Native Community Response Team

We’re in the early phase of developing a team of members called the Native Community Response Team (NCRT), volunteers who respond and support families who are grieving after a death by suicide in the He Sapa Community. Members provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention and linkage to appropriate referrals. We currently have a volunteer application on our website for those interested in serving as a volunteer in our community.

To volunteer for the Native Community Response Team, please fill out an application here.

Yoga for Wellness 

Every day, 100 people die in the United States from opioid abuse. To fight this surging epidemic, the Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response Team is working to provide tribal citizens with the tools they need to prevent and overcome opioid addiction. Starting on February 14, 2022, the Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response Team will unveil a series of online Yoga Classes free to the public that will supplement other prevention programs working to educate the community about the dangers of opioids. To prevent opioid use disorder and support those in recovery in our community, Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response offers three tracks of Yoga. All these classes are free, between 30 – 45 minutes, and online!  Everyone is welcome!

Chair Yoga – Mondays at 12 MST
Download the Outlook Calendar Invite: https://gptchb.zoom.us/webinar/tZMpfu-urTIvGdzEgScOrUWaiUThENVnpTCh/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGvqjIsHNectRqPRpwEBor4M-7ztlhYjadHuRjWAA9BVzT3P9d2OpdRJtbA
Link to join directly: https://gptchb.zoom.us/j/87496639538

Yoga for Health Movement – Tuesdays at 12 PM MST
Download the Outlook Calendar Invite: https://gptchb.zoom.us/webinar/tZ0udO-oqjgsHdBDBiJcMHdYJQx60gkuiGx8/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGhrTgsGtCWth6DRpx5A4jCM_TwiHZdgqd_uD3sKSN-SgfPHNNaZOJ4G83Z
Link to join directly: https://gptchb.zoom.us/j/89336043674

Beginners Yoga – Thursdays at 4 pm MST
Download the Outlook Calendar Invite: https://gptchb.zoom.us/webinar/tZwrcuyqrTkqH9BmVIAYJaBnSBK5uKJPQpjW/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGgqD4vGNeXsByDRpw-BI_4Z-rztnpfgvp_kSnMIhl5YyH4BcBpZ6dUOujh
Link to join directly: https://gptchb.zoom.us/j/88655232054

Read More

Staff

  • Trivia Craddock
    Program Manager
  • Kahomy Weston
    Lead Support Navigator

*Funding for this project was made possible by award numbers 1H79SM082122-01, 6H79TI083201-01, 5H79SM083039-02, 3H79FG000297-01S1 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Last modified on: Monday, August 22nd, 2022 @ 8:30 am

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