Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
DETROIT American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan is celebrating its Grand Opening of its renovated medical and behavioral health clinic tomorrow, May9th, which is also National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.
American Indian community elders, the architect and the staff
worked to incorporate American Indian culture and teachings into the design.
The event will begin at 4:30 pm and last until 7:30 pm. American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan is located at 4880 Lawndale Street in Detroit.
George Martin, a well known and respected Ojibwe elder, will conduct a ceremonial blessing as part of the opening celebration. The celebration will also include an art display and performances, traditional Native games and songs and food. Educational material on children's mental health will be distributed.
“Events that draw us together in celebration, especially celebration of children and their voices, add to feelings of worth, love and support for a child. Those are tools they have to build great character and rebound from traumas,”
stated Ashley Tuomi, executive director of American Indian Health and Family Services.
“We express our emotions in many ways. Our job as Behavioral Healthcare Providers is to help children and their families learn to communicate their emotions in healthy, balanced ways. This event highlights how emotional expression can be fun as well as meaningful,”
commented Tina Louise, director of Healthcare and Recovery for the agency.
The clinic was renovated with funds from the agency's Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help the agency build increased capacity to provide prevention services to its clients.
“We had a generous contractor, Restoration Tradesman Corporation that completed a $200,000 remodel for only $112,850,”
said Scott Bowden, facilities manager.
The 1,600 square foot remodeled clinic also includes two additional exam rooms. Architect Jeff Royer worked with American Indian community elders and agency staff to incorporate American Indian culture and teachings into the design.
The remodel, along with integrating a behavioral health specialist and beginning to train all of the staff in suicide screening, prevention and intervention, will allow the agency to continue to serve the needs of the American Indian community in southeastern Michigan. There are close to 60,000 American Indians who live in the Detroit metropolitan area.
“Mental health is how we think, feel and act when facing life's situations. It's important that we begin to educate children at an early age, so they understand the impact and importance of mental health. Children experience a wide range of feelings every day, and we hope that they will feel the love of their community, the value of their voices, and have fun!”
added Nickole Fox, the Heath Education Director at the agency in hopes in drawing a large crowd to the Grand Opening.
posted May 7, 2012 6:00 am edt