TUBA CITY-It is a privilege to present and share with you important information from our Department of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) program. In upcoming viewpoints, I look forward to addressing and writing about a series of vital and relevant subject matters that affect our community and the Navajo Nation. In this first series, I will explain our program and the services DBHS provides. In the next series, you will come to know of prevention and the role of prevention. Then you will be informed and made aware of how alcohol and other drugs are making a negative and devastating impact on the Navajo people and the Navajo Nation. These and upcoming series are just the beginning. However, it is our intention that this series provides continued, powerful reinforcement. Furthermore, in each series you will gain information about a variety of drug prevention education approaches and techniques such as the need for fresh viewpoints or attitudes on the drug problem, signs of drug use and improving parent-child communication. Only by working together-every school, business, faith-based organization and every community on the Navajo Nation-can we teach others and especially our children that drug use is dangerous.
The Tuba City DBHS is one of over 20 service sites that provide residential, outpatient treatment, and outreach services throughout the Navajo Nation, including: Chinle, Fort Defiance, Shiprock, Crownpoint, and Window Rock (Central Office). The DBHS is the lead agency to provide comprehensive alcohol and substance abuse prevention, education, treatment and after-care services to Navajo individuals and their families on the Navajo Nation. The use of alcohol is one of the most serious problems facing the Navajo Nation, negatively affecting our families, communities and traditional Dine' way of life. It is estimated that one out of two automobile crashes are alcohol related-the leading cause of death and disfigurement among the Navajo people (Navajo Area Indian Health Services, 2000-2001). Furthermore, nine out of ten adolescents arrested are under the influences of mood altering chemicals. Alcoholism and the abuse of other forms of mood altering chemicals are fatal, but 100 percent preventable. The DBHS recovery program is based on culturally appropriate therapy, and can provide the professional help to those suffering from substance abuse. Our primary focus is to help the Navajo people.
The Navajo DBHS vision is captured in the Navajo language as: Diné Béiiná Hoozhoogo Silá."
This phrase has a broad and complex meaning, but a simple translation is: "In the Navajo way of life there is beauty before you." Moreover, our mission is captured in the above heading. To restore families to health and harmony by using culturally appropriate behavioral health services.
The DBHS assures that quality culturally acceptable behavioral health services are available, accessible and affordable to the Navajo people. Privacy and respect are the guiding principles of treatment. Treatments and services provided include: appropriate referrals to residential treatment centers for optimal care; intervention counseling services for individuals and families; evaluation of each clients' strengths and weaknesses to determine individual needs; and assessment for spiritual counseling services.
Appropriate referral for applications of traditional and faith-based treatment to clients and their families to address problems of chemical dependency and abuse, and mental disorders, and most importantly, client follow-up services are provided. All in all, the primary focus of treatment is to assist individuals to recapture success in all areas of life.
The Tuba City Outpatient Treatment Center is staffed by six AZBBHE licensed substance abuse counselors and a clinical specialist. The Prevention Department is staffed by one prevention specialist, one substance abuse health educator, and one traditional practitioner. Other support staff includes three case management specialists, one office assistant and a program supervisor.
The Tuba City DBHS is open five days a week, Monday through Friday frm 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information please call 928-283-3346. Respect your heritage, respect yourself, and respect the law.
Gary Davis worked as a Correctional Officer for the Western Navajo Juvenile Service Center from 1999 - 2003. He has been a Prevention Specialist with the Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health Services and the Tuba City Outpatient Treatment Center for the past 3 years.