DURANT, OK – The Choctaw Nation has launched a grant-funded program called Warrior Wellness designed to connect Native American veterans with their culture, heritage, and each other to reduce rates of death by suicide among veterans.
“Being one of only 80 organizations awarded the grant means we can provide pivotal services here in Southeast Oklahoma for Native American veterans and their families,” said program coordinator Courtney Trent, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority. The grant is a part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ SSG Parker Fox Suicide Prevention Program.
The new program provides access to an array of culturally connected holistic services to enhance mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. Working alongside Choctaw Nation Veterans Advocacy Department, Warrior Wellness’ Peer Support Specialists and Counselors will provide case management, weekend family retreats, animal-assisted and equine services, trail riding, hiking, fishing, family support, and gardening groups.
The care team will also provide case management and VA benefits assistance to Native American veterans trying to navigate the system. In addition to the in-person services, Warrior Wellness has teamed up with Q Actual, an app designed for peer-to-peer support. The app, called “Operation Pop Smoke,” is themed with the veterans in mind and facilitates a continued connection with the peer support group.