Pawhuska, Ok. – Osage Nation Prevention Program (ONPP), the Osage Nation Counseling Center (ONCC), and the WahZhaZhe Health Center (WZZHC) collaborated in early December to design five billboards that increase awareness of mental health services available to the community.
The project sanctioned a total of five billboards. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line with OSAGE keyword billboards are now located East of Ponca City on Lake Road. The WZZHC Behavioral Health Services and the ONCC billboards are on Highway 20, East of Hominy. The ONCC billboard displays illustrations designed by Skyler Ammons, Graphic Designer for the ON Communications Department. A billboard designed for the Grand Lake Mental Health Center (GLMHC) is on Highway 20 on the West side of Skiatook.
ONCC Director, Naomi Esparza, commented on the Counseling Center’s component of this mental health services project saying, “ONCC was happy to work with the Osage Nation Prevention Program, Daisy Spicer (ONPP Coordinator), and Skyler Ammons to develop a billboard with our information for people to know we are here to help!”
“We’re proud to be working with community partners like the Osage Nation to spread the word of our services in Oklahoma,” said Josh Cantwell, Chief Operating Officer at GLMHC. “The Nation’s exposure of our services to the public through this billboard (project) is very important to our goal of providing personalized mental health care, anytime, anywhere.”
Funding for the billboard project was provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and their Native Connection initiative has provided the Osage Nation Prevention Program with resources to address youth suicide prevention. Through this project, a Community Readiness assessment was conducted in 2015, 2017, and 2019. This assessment has been used in communities throughout the world to determine the level of readiness to address a social issue. The community readiness scores were then used by the prevention staff and local community members to develop community-informed strategies to prevent suicide and promote mental health.
“Readiness scores have slightly increased over the years, but results consistently reveal a lack of awareness of available resources that treat mental health issues and suicidality,” said Daisy Spicer.
Some of the strategies suggested to address suicide prevention included community-wide social media efforts which have resulted in the placement of billboards with local mental health resources available in this Osage Nation service area. Resources now being advertised on billboards across Osage County include national hotlines and text lines in addition to local mental health services provided by Osage Nation and Grand Lake Mental Health.
Harmony Fuller, a licensed clinical social worker serving the community via the WZZHC added, “It is past time that we make shifts in the way we view behavioral health. Mental health services are less about ‘mental illness and more about the act of mental wellness. It is about taking a committed role in caring for oneself, and we are here to walk that journey with folks. As human beings, we each deserve an opportunity to process our emotions, organize our sometimes messy thoughts, and make positive commitments to ourselves. I am forever humbled and honored to get to help create that safe space for our WahZhaZhe citizens.”
The WZZHC Behavioral Health Department offers counseling and psychotherapy services by Licensed Mental Health Providers. For more information, contact the clinic at 918-287-9300 or to reach a mental health provider directly call 918-287-9357.
The Osage Nation Counseling Center provides comprehensive, affordable support for those needing treatment. We convey hospitality and respect to all while offering informed choices to those needing our services. To set up services, call 918-287-5413.
The Osage Nation Prevention Program invites the community to give feedback on the billboards and even offer additional ideas for youth-focused messages. The project contact information is: Osage Nation Prevention Program, 1449 W Main, Pawhuska OK 74056 email@example.com
Location: 1449 W. Main, Pawhuska, Ok 74056