Current Projects

The following describes current projects and trainings that are being offered by the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC. Please contact us if you have any questions, or if you are interested in hosting a training in your community.


Honoring our Relations: Increasing Knowledge of our LGBTQ/Two-Spirit Wellness

Authored by Anne Helene Skinstad, Ph.D. and Matt Ignacio (Tohono O’odham), Ph.D. Candidate.

This training focuses on the health and wellness of Native LGBTQ/Two-Spirit community members. In 2014, our center gathered Native content experts from across the country to participate in the development of a curriculum with the goals of enhancing the knowledge and skills of BH professionals working with Native LGBTQ/Two-Spirit Identified clients.  The development process was very robust and we received positive responses from our first pilot Training-of-Trainer event held in partnership with a Southern California tribal community.  A special issue of the newsletter on the topic was published in 2016, and the newsletter can be accessed through our webpage and this link:

The curriculum currently consists of nine modules:

     1) Introduction
     2) Review of Cultural Factors
     3) LGBT Identity Affirmation
     4) Multicultural Counseling and LGBT Affirming Treatment Approaches
     5) Substance Use Issues in the Native LGBT Community
     6) Health Issues in the Native LGBT Community
     7) Relapse Prevention and Native Traditions
     8) Enhancing Provider Knowledge and Skills
     9) Organizational Readiness

Matt Ignacio and Sarah Murray, MPH, started the revision process in early 2019 by developing and adding new content. The new content provides an overview of Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews, and examines behavioral and mental health service delivery from these perspectives. The focus is on helping providers create safe environments for clients with histories of trauma, addressing provider bias and stigma, as well as offering strategies to engage Native LGBTQ/Two-Spirit identities from a culturally respectful manner.

‘Organizational Readiness’ examines the organization or program itself as a facilitator for client change. This module will explore organizational and program-delivery readiness by centering anti-oppressive and safe healing practices for Native LGBTQ/Two-Spirit people.

Additional new content focuses on Community-level Promising and Best Practices and highlights national advocacy and mobilization work at the community, organizational, and national levels. Specifically, we highlight the efforts of Two-Spirit societies located in major U.S. cities. Moreover, we describe tribal and cultural best practices around coalition building, disease prevention, and gender identity affirming practices.



Crisis and Resiliency Team TA Project

School Mental Health Supplement

This is a collaborative technical assistance project focused on helping communities create their own community-based crisis and trauma resiliency teams, or group of teams. Two pilot sites were chosen from the applicants to participate in the project: Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition, Inc. and the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Health and Human Services – Center for Behavioral Health. The project has been designed based on Dr. Jacque Gray, PhD, Choctaw and Cherokee’s successful curriculum and implementation of crisis response teams in rural Oklahoma.

What we’re offering:

Learning collaborative opportunities (video conferencing sessions) and in-person trainings focused on:

     1)Identifying and engaging key stakeholders
     2)Identifying needs of the community – including traumas and crises
     3)Engaging local schools and districts
     4)Cultural considerations
     5)Encouraging community engagement
     6)Utilization of media
     7)Working to eliminate silos

Entire process: May 2019 – June 2020

For more information, including a link to the webinar, "The Path to Crisis Response and Recovery" - Dr. Jacque Gray, which gives an overview of our vision and specifics on the project, please use the link below: application-crisis-trauma-resiliency-team



Project Enhancement and Implementation - Learning Community

This is a free training opportunity intended for committed individuals looking to gain skills in:

     1)Identifying and documenting needs of tribal communities
     2)Identifying effective practices aligned with the needs of your tribal population (s) of focus 
     3)Strengthening workforce and organizational capacity
     4)Documenting and evaluating outcomes and strengthening opportunities
     5)Bringing it all together to make the business case for sustainability opportunities

A group of no greater than 20 highly motivated participants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis to attend a 2 day, face-to-face kick off training to learn from two behavioral health experts in program development, implementation, evaluation and sustainability to position your program for success while maximizing sustainability. This training will be followed by self-directed project development assignments that the experts will review and subsequently provide written feedback. A time commitment of 1.5 hours per week over a 5-6 week period will be required.

Click here for the application (once you click on the link, please download the pdf to be able to fill it in):



Healing the Returning Warrior

Healing the Returning Warrior is a curriculum developed for Native veterans by our National Focus Area Center, the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC in collaboration with Native veterans.

The Native veterans project first started as a 2.5 day pilot event hosted at the Meskwaki Hotel and Casino in Tama, IA. The curriculum was presented to Native veterans including a historical overview that delves into the history of Native Americans in the military, historical trauma, PTSD, suicide approaches to assessment and treatment, traditional beliefs and healing practices, and most importantly honoring self through Native American teachings and wisdom.

Sean Bear, B.A, CADC, is the Co-Director of the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC and, as a humbled member of the 82nd Airborne, is deeply invested and dedicated to this project. He, alongside Anne Helene Skinstad, Ph.D., Director of the National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC, and Ray Daw, M.A., U.S. Army, Dine, developed this curriculum to promote taking care of oneself and keeping a healthy balance to be successful in promoting the healing and wellness of others, using traditional teachings and shared wisdom along with the integration of the Medicine Wheel.

Healing the Returning Warrior was most recently presented at the Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Enhancement Training hosted by the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in Palm Springs, CAT, September 10-12, 2019. The workshop offered a preview into the five-module curriculum and featured a historical overview of Natives in the military. Native warriors and veteran ancestors greatly contributed to changing the way the United States fought. Natives and warriors who have served, deserve to feel a sense of pride in their efforts and duty. The workshop also explored traditional beliefs and healing practices, focusing on cultural considerations, along with Native teachings and practices from various tribal backgrounds that must be considered when working with Native veterans. 

A five-module curriculum developed in collaboration with Native veterans for Native veterans.

The curriculum's specific focus includes the following:

     1)Historical Overview of Native Americans in the military
     2)Historical Trauma
     3)PTSD and Suicide Prevention
     4)Approaches to Assessment and Treatment
     5)Traditional Beliefs and Healing Practices
     6)Native American Teachings and Wisdom

The National American Indian and Alaska Native MHTTC is currently preparing to roll out Training of Trainers events with this curriculum.

For more information on Healing the Returning Warrior, a Native Veteran project, please contact Program Manager, Megan Dotson at [email protected].



Consensus Panel

We are currently working to update our Cultural Sensitivity Program training, which was originally developed by Dr. Duane Mackey, member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska.  This curriculum was created to prepare non-Native behavioral health providers to work with Native patients with behavioral health disorders.

We are developing the updated version of the curriculum using a consensus panel made up of Native behavioral health professionals from around the country, in collaboration with the Chair of our Curriculum Committee, Ed Parsells, BA, Cheyenne River Sioux Nation.

The first Consensus Panel Meeting will take place in Iowa City, Iowa on October 8-10, 2019.



Leadership Academy

This year-long program offers a unique opportunity for mental health, behavioral health, substance use providers, or helping professionals to explore their unique skills and leadership potential through trainings, an individual project, and mentor support.

The program provides: 

•    Development of knowledge and expertise in the behavioral health field
•    Interactive seminars, distance learning, webinars and project work
•    Learning opportunities through interaction and supervision between mentors and mentees
•    Supervising community-based participatory initiatives
•    Networking with other mentors

Questions? Please contact: 

Monica Dreyer Rossi, Cand. Polit.
Program Manager, National American Indian & Alaska Native Leadership Academy
[email protected]

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