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Blackfeet Healing to Wellness Courts Supplemental Service, Reentry and Diversion Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $750,000)

The vision of the Sípaitsíí’paitapiiyissinni (The Good Life) Program is to provide holistic care by bridging the gap of communication and support between justice, social service, health, and education programs; grounding them in Blackfeet culture to strengthen connectedness. The purpose is to reintegrate or divert eligible participants from incarceration, through individualized, culturally-informed, comprehensive case plans utilizing validated screening and assessment tools to identify need and connect services. The Tribe’s impact on rehabilitating and reintegrating justice-involved individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and/or Co Occurring Disorders (COD) will improve with this award by providing clinical and support services; improving access to outlying, rural communities; and allowing more people to remain on the Blackfeet Reservation for healing, in unity with the Blackfeet Healing to Wellness Courts (BHWC).

A Behavioral Health Specialist (BHS) will provide targeted services for high risk/high need justice-involved adults and youth, including evaluations, counseling, and group interventions, exclusively for BHWC program participants. Information-sharing barriers will be reduced through full participation of the BHS on BHWC multidisciplinary teams (MDT). By working closely with participants, screening often for suicidal ideation and other risks, the BHS will greatly improve safety and allow for needed intervention. Participants will receive appropriate diagnoses, treatment recommendations, services, and referrals for medication needs.

The addition of a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) will bolster the currently available services for SUD and COD-affected Participants on the Reservation through evidence-based modalities and methods. The LAC will provide assessments, counseling, and group interventions exclusively for BHWC Participants. Being an active member of the MDT will give the LAC the leverage of the court to enhance overall participation and compliance with treatment plans.

A Peer Support Specialist (PSS) will understand and respect the challenges of suffering SUD and/or COD through experience of recovery. The PSS will be an extension of the clinical setting, assisting participants with challenges through advocacy and support, leading peer groups, helping identify and overcome barriers, and assisting Participants in meeting requirements of the BHWC. A receptionist will be hired to provide a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for participants and families, manage appointments and maintain schedules for staff for outlying area service dates, groups and other activities of the program.

Through the guidance of Blackfeet elders, in conjunction with the MDT and  professionals who have cultural and community-relevant knowledge, BHWC participants will strengthen connectedness, gain healing, tools, and knowledge needed for sustaining Sípaitsíí’paitapiiyissinni (Good Life).

Date Created: September 13, 2023