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Peer Guide Shares Mental Health Resources

In a message from Toiyabe Family Services Youth Prevention and Circles of Care, UNITY Peer Guide Leticia Gonzales shares mental health resources for Native youth and families. Leticia Lucille Gonzales, is an enrolled member of the Bishop Paiute Tribe in Bishop, California and serves as a UNITY Healing Indigenous Lives ambassador.

The UNITY Peer Guides have continued to be a resource to the community during these uncertain times of social distancing and isolation. As many Peer Guides have experiences overcoming obstacles in their own lives as a result of past trauma, they are taking to the internet to offer traditional cultural resources to Native youth who may be struggling with anxiety, triggers or mental health challenges. Research shows efforts to reduce and prevent substance abuse with Native youth should incorporate local expertise and knowledge, build on strengths and resources within the communities, and integrate unique cultural practices (Brown, Baldwin, & Walsh, 2012).

Watch and Share these tips for Native Youth from Leticia on how to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally:

As a Peer Guide, Gonzales holds an youth advisory role for the Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative, made possible by a cooperative agreement (2018-TY-FX-K002) between UNITY, Inc. and the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. UNITY, with its trainers, youth guides, and mentors will offer regional trauma-informed youth leadership development trainings over the next two-years. These peer led asset mapping, youth advocacy and movement building workshops will collect Native youth feedback, from those who have been impacted by trauma and the Juvenile Justice system.

For More Information, or to request a Peer Guide participate in a regional youth training, contact Program Manager LorenAshley Buford at, or Call UNITY National Headquarters: 480-718-9793