News & Events


January 14, 2020

Yakama Nation Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults ages 16-25 Providing Collaborative Supportive Care for Youth

In April 2019, Yakama Nation Behavioral Health received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, Award number H79SM081963) to establish the Healthy Transitions program. Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults aims to serve young adults ages 16-25 who are struggling emotionally and behaviorally using the evidence-based practice Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model®.

The original TIP model was developed to increase wrap-around and recovery support services for youth and young adults with emotional/ behavioral difficulties. It engages youth participants in their own futures planning process. It provides youth with developmentally-appropriate, non-stigmatizing, culturally-competent, trauma-informed, and appealing services and supports. It also involves the young people, and as relevant, their families (of origin, extended, or foster) and other informal key players, in a process that prepares and facilitates the young person’s movement toward greater self-sufficiency and successful achievement of their goals.

Healthy Transitions staff have worked collaboratively with the creators of TIP and with Yakama Nation program managers to culturally adapt TIP to represent and serve the needs of the Yakama Nation. Additionally, Yakama Nation program managers provide the overall guidance during the program implementation.
The goal of the Healthy Transitions program is to serve 400 youth over a five-year period (approximately 80 youth per year). This will be accomplished by:

  • Creating, implementing, and expanding services and supports that are developmentally appropriate, culturally competent, and youth and young adult- driven, involving family and community members (including business leaders and faith-based organizations), and provide for continuity of care and support between youth- and adult-serving systems.
  • Improving cross-system collaboration, service capacity, and expertise related through Infrastructure and organizational change (i.e. MOUs).
  • Implementing public awareness and cross-system provider training (e.g., higher education/community colleges, behavioral health, law enforcement, primary care, education, vocational services, and child welfare).

The University of Washington Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) under the guidance of Drs. Cynthia Pearson and Angelique Day assisted in the cultural adaptation of the TIP model, developed an electronic database to collect data to assess youth improvements overtime and to guide program future refinements, and will provide data analysis and program evaluation services throughout the life of the project.