Cherokee Nation
Sarah Jones plays with her 6-year-old daughter, Sophie, at Norris Park in Tahlequah. Sarah is the leader of a HERO Project parenting group in Wagoner.

May Is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month on the Cherokee Nation


A proclamation recently signed by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker declared May as National Children’s Health Awareness Month. The proclamation not only promotes the overall well-being of children, but also combats causes of childhood trauma, and brings awareness to the tribe’s HERO Project.

“I applaud the efforts made by the HERO Project to destigmatize mental health within the Cherokee Nation, and I am proud to declare May as National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month,” Principal Chief Baker said in a release. “Improved access to quality health care for our tribal citizens is the most important goal for the future of the Cherokee Nation, and that includes improving wellness in our minds as well as our bodies.”

The HERO Project is a resource to help families. “All kids and families, at one point or another, struggle, and we’re just here to help them get through that struggle,” said HERO Project Manager Dallas Pettigrew. “More than anything, we want to help people in the communities reach out to support each other. What we know is that parents know more about parenting and how to take care of each other than we do. So we try to empower families and communities to take care of each other.”

Staff from the HERO Project has helped develop small parenting groups throughout the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction. The groups share parenting advice, and provide family-friendly activities that promote child behavioral health awareness.

To learn more about the HERO Project or parenting groups, call 918-772-4004.

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