BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Mental Health is slowly losing its stigma, but there is still a lot of work to be done — especially when it deals with our children.

Circles of Care is a program that supports children with severe emotional disturbances and their families, and the program’s main focus is in our tribal communities. The program — which is part of the Department of Health — sets up a community-based care model that makes sure kids make their voices heard, and get the individualized treatment they need to lead better lives.

The program focuses specifically on American Indian and Alaskan Native communities without competition from states, counties, or cities. From Standing Rock to the Turtle Mountains, it’s something that many families in need can use as a resource.

“First and foremost, we’ll always, always be in the community, gaining their trust,” explained Mental Health and Domestic Violence Advocate, Desireé Coyote. “The purpose of our program is, we are here to gain the trust of our community, and for us, that means confidentiality.”

Mental health is not just black and white in North Dakota’s tribal communities, and the program also looks at historical trauma and issues currently impacting our tribal lands. Many of the treatments Circles of Care recommend can be done within the family, and right at home.

To learn more about Circles of Care, visit this page.