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Rocky Boy gets grant to fight drugs, suicide


John Paul Schmidt

Participants at Monday's grant presentation at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation gather in a circle.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is giving a $220,000 planning grant to Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation to develop programs to help people in emotional distress.

Bruce Myers, the Republican candidate for House District 32, said that he was surprised but pleased that SAMHSA, a federal program, approved the grant.

"It seems like the stars are all lined up," said Myers, who is spearheading an anti-drug program on the reservation.

SAMSHA officials were on the reservation Monday to announce the grant and to listen to tribal officials talk about the program.

As part of the presentation to SAMHSA officials, Tim Rosette, CEO of Rocky Boy's Health Board, proposed a change to the Chippewa Cree Tribal Justice Center that would allow it to begin accepting youths for inpatient treatment.

Myers said the new facility has a 20-bed area that is not being used because it does not have the proper licenses and certifications.

"It could be a regional treatment facility," Myers said. " ... It's something that is sorely lacking (at Rocky Boy)."

Myers said that sending suicidal Rocky Boy residents to Northern Montana Hospital, letting them spend the night, giving them pills and then sending them back home is not enough to help them.

Susan Hale of RJS and Associates wrote the SAMHSA grant.

"The goal is to develop a plan for children and youth with serious emotional damages," Hale said. " ... This is the first step."

Rosette said that Montana has an exceptionally high rate of suicide deaths, and this would provide treatment for people in distress.

"I believe that our kids deserve better (than they are getting)," Rosette said.


Reader Comments

Happy writes:

I think this is great awesome news for the community.

drugfree writes:

Yes, it's bragging when you state that you are drug and alcohol free, this event was a success, with many informative ways to help, there was even a presentation from a couple of drug and alcohol free teenagers who told the audience what their and their friends experience on a daily basis, all because of drugs and alcohol...I would attend more conferences like this!!

question writes:

I wonder about this process. are they talking to people who have successfully raised kids who are drug and alcohol free? do they invite these folks? it seems to me that if you have a problem it might be a good idea to ask those who have been successful in your community. maybe create a panel of folks who have raised drug and alcohol free kids in rocky boy and have people ask them questions. I asked a guy why he didn't show and he said; they think you're bragging.


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