What’s Going on at The Healing Lodge?



The Benefits of Mental Health and Regulating Your Emotions – Outpatient mental health services

The Benefits of Mental Health and Regulating Your Emotions – Outpatient mental health services

March is Self-Harm Awareness Month. We are taking this chance to speak to our outstanding mental health department, focusing on our treatment plans to regulate emotions and other unique offerings throughout the Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations programs. 

Follow along with us each month as we highlight topics within the Healing Lodge departments and bring to light some of the ways our residents and their families have utilized healing tools.

First, let us briefly mention the history and mission statement of the Healing Lodge as a whole. 

What does the Healing Lodge believe?

The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations is a Native American youth residential treatment facility that provides a safe and caring healing environment for all adolescents, and their families, in need. Our wellness program is grounded daily in balanced traditional, cultural, and spiritual values and practices. These values and practices foster respect, honesty, generosity, strong cultural identification, and hope for positive life changes. The Healing Lodge treatment program integrates traditional, spiritual, and cultural values with chemical dependency counseling to create a holistic healing approach.

How was the Healing Lodge founded?

The history of The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations begins in 1986 when The Confederated Tribe of the Colville Reservation, The Spokane Tribe of Indians, The Kalispel Tribe of Indians, The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Indians, The Nez Perce Tribe, and The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla (the “Seven Nations”) banded together to talk about creating a chemical dependency treatment solution for youth.

Because we are focused on optimal healing for residents and their families, we aim to provide a sanctuary for those seeking help to receive tools that they can utilize for years to come. 

We sat down with Jamie Rosteck, a Mental Health Counselor of our Outpatient Mental Health Services department, to dive deeper into the facility’s day-to-day.

Rosteck states, “Over the course of 90-120 days, we may provide the residents with hundreds of tools they can use to regulate their emotions or to find inner peace in chaotic situations. Even if they use just a few of those tools throughout their time outside of the lodge, we hope they will achieve the life balance they need.”

What makes the Mental Health department at the Healing Lodge unique? 

At the Healing Lodge, individual counseling sessions are entirely led based on the needs of the resident. While the group sessions are a required segment of the lodge treatment plan, individual and family sessions are up to the resident’s choice. 

These sessions allow the resident to find a safe space to play, laugh, cry, heal, talk, or simply be. “The counselors have no agenda going into the individual sessions other than to create a place of peace and safety,” states Rosteck, “we tackle negative self-talk with education on how to re-train thought patterns of the brain. We focus on positive psychology and mindfulness when getting to the root of the behavior. We believe that substance abuse disorders and mental health go hand-in-hand, and we take care to provide resources to tackle these with a wrap-around approach.”

The counselors and advisors on staff meet to gather information on each resident to know how to offer the individual tools and treatments. Each resident is unique, and we work hard to create an environment where the residents feel they are important and their needs are not to be ashamed of. 

Rosteck accounts on the all-encompassing process to educate the young residents on a balanced lifestyle; “Nourishing your body can look like a lot of different ways such as finding those internal motivations. Family, nutrition, a healthy amount of sleep – it’s all balance. We also have a Chef and P.E. professional on staff, and we educate the residents on vitamins and information and how certain vitamins relate to mental health.”

The Healing Lodge utilizes a fully integrated treatment plan to offer our residents the best possible outcome for future successes, “We work with therapy tactics such as EMDR, DBT, IMR management, and others to best assess behavioral conditions or responses from traumatic experiences” states Rosteck.

What is one of the biggest myths some may think about this type of treatment facility?

“One of the main myths is that we will force a patient to talk or further, that we will tell the patient’s families everything they tell us, counselors. The fact is, mentally healthy people are healthy by choice. We will never force you to talk or tell us anything about your trauma or life experiences. There are often ways of healing we can access without saying any words at all. Sometimes mental health is listening to music or simply getting into a safe space to just be. We can offer that.”

The mental health department is just as concerned with the healing that will occur within the center as we are with the healing that will take place back in the residents’ homes and daily lives. Rosteck and the other counselors always determine a plan for post Healing Lodge living; “Do they have the support available to them? The families are amazing resources to step in and provide more daily help to the child. Before they leave the center, we come up with a plan for Telehealth.”

What does aftercare look like at the Healing Lodge?

Rosteck accounts for addressing the individual’s needs in care and determining the best next steps for success, “We meet people where they are at. What are their goals for staying out of treatment? We aim to get you to a place where you can manage your emotions; when you can identify triggers and utilize coping skills no matter what your surroundings may throw your way.” 

Our aftercare program follows up with the child up to a year or so after they leave. We work hard to set up services in their area and ensure the child has someone to lean on if they need assistance, such as simple advice, college applications, GED assistance, and resources relevant to their area of living.

“The child is in the driver’s seat on how successful they want to be. We will match the child’s effort and provide the necessary tools for living the life they have worked hard to lead. Aftercare is working behind the scenes to make sure the kid is not left behind or falling between the cracks,” states Rosteck.

Who does the Healing Lodge serve? 

“Although The Healing Lodge primarily serves Washington, Oregon, and Idaho residents, our program is available for all tribal and non-tribal youth in need.”

We serve both male and female youth populations all over the country, ages 13-18, and their families. 

We work with the families to provide a team effort outcome that the child can rely on. Our main goal is to find healing for the entire family, and we offer support to the family with trusted resources as needed. 

“We understand there are a lot of moving parts, and we don’t blame anyone for their struggles. We do want to see healthy relationships formed between the child and their family, and we will work hard to meet the family where they are at and offer help to the resident in the best way that we can.” – Jamie Rosteck.

If you would like more information on the application process or have a general question, we would love to connect with you. 

Please find our contact page here.

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Agora Award Winner – 2014

Agora WinnerThe AGORA Awards honor business excellence in the greater Spokane region and we are proud to have won in the Large Non-Profit Category!


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Prevention Basketball Clinics

This article originally appeared here http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com//2014/06/20/shoot-hoops-not-drugs-healing-lodge-seven-nations-teaches-prevention-basketball-court

Coach Lee Adams demonstrates defense as youngsters and other coaches look on. (Jack McNeel)

Coach Lee Adams demonstrates defense as youngsters and other coaches look on. (Jack McNeel)

Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs: Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations Teaches Prevention on the Basketball Court

Jack McNeel

The gymnasium floor at Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation was filled with young basketball players, dozens of players, all between the ages of 6 and 11. Each wore a T-shirt which will become a prized possession.

Older players, from 12 to 18, would fill the gym the following day. One-hundred-and-thirty kids, boys and girls, would attend during the two days.

Several coaches worked with the youngsters, teaching passing skills, defensive maneuvers, shooting techniques and footwork.

Craig Ehlo signs shirts and photos as Tavio Hobson looks on. (Jack McNeel)

Craig Ehlo signs shirts and photos as Tavio Hobson looks on. (Jack McNeel)

Former NBA basketball player Craig Ehlo was also there to talk with them and sign autographs, but the day and Ehlo’s presence was about much more than just basketball. It was also about drugs and the negative impacts they can have on one’s life and how a passion for sport can help avoid those negatives.

The clinic was jointly sponsored by The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations in Spokane and a Seattle organization called A Plus Youth Program. Dr. Martina Whelshula is Executive Director of the Healing Lodge and she commented on how the two programs have complimentary missions and similar programs in many respects. The Healing Lodge works primarily with Native young people dealing with drug addiction while A Plus uses sport to surround kids with character development, mentoring, and educational services.

During the day the youngsters were asked to answer a brief 6-question survey. “It’s an assessment tool to measure the risks of addiction for children,” Dr. Whelshula explains. “There’s an adult there to help if they have questions about the questions.”

“Harvard Medical School folks attended one of our clinics on the Spokane Reservation,” Dr. Whelshula said. “They loved it and thought it was an amazing tool on so many different levels.” So now the information gathered at the basketball clinics is sent to Harvard, they analyze it, and it’s returned to the tribe and Indian Health Service.

Tavio Hobson, Executive Director for A Plus, founded the organization five years ago with funding coming mostly from private individuals, grants and corporate sponsorships. They have some major contributors and are expecting significant growth in coming years. “One of the goals was to look at ways we could continue to expand programming in areas where there was high need and have folks with similar visions, passions, and missions. Areas where we felt we could make a significant impact. That’s where our Native Initiative came from. Our ultimate vision is to have this program on every reservation.”

Kids listen attentively as former NBA player Craig Ehlo tells of his career. (Jack McNeel)

Kids listen attentively as former NBA player Craig Ehlo tells of his career. (Jack McNeel)

They will be going to New York City this fall. “There are 60 to 70 thousand kids in public high schools with zero access to sport. They need mentoring support, including character development, financial literacy, leadership skills and implement substance resistance and prevention, in addition to adding sports,” Hobson explained.

Speaking of partnering with Healing Lodge, he said, “We want the exact same thing for Native youth. The power of sport is transformative. Being able to tie in with the Healing Lodge and their expertise, especially around substance abuse resistance, education, and prevention is something we’re passionate about.”

Three more reservations in the northwest, Umatilla, Kootenai of Idaho, and Kalispel, will have similar basketball clinics this summer. Puyallup has already signed up for the next fiscal year which begins in September. There is no charge to tribes. It’s funded with a grant from Indian Health Service. “Now that funding is done, this is where sustainability comes in because of our partnership with A Plus Youth Program and their financial backing. With the merging of the two programs we can go national,” Dr. Whelshula said.

Left to right: Tavio Hobson, Dr. Martina Whelshula, and Brad Meyers are persons most responsible for these basketball clinics. (Jack McNeel)

Left to right: Tavio Hobson, Dr. Martina Whelshula, and Brad Meyers are persons most responsible for these basketball clinics. (Jack McNeel)

The interaction with professional athletes adds to the excitement for the youngsters. “Just about every professional athlete out of Seattle who played basketball has supported us at one time or another,” Hobson said. Magic Johnson was keynote speaker at a dinner two years ago, talking of the need that exists in many communities across the nation.

Craig Ehlo encouraged the youngsters at Paschal Sherman Indian School to develop a strong work ethic, as he did in watching his parents and which carried over into his basketball career. “Listen to your parents and to others like your coaches. They have wise words for you. Everything you learn now is going to shape your life.”

Dr. Whelshula and Hobson strongly agree that to reach young people one needs to start with what the kids are passionate about. “You’ve got to go meet them,” Hobson said. Sport is one of those passions for many young people.

Young athletes await their turn on the floor. (Jack McNeel)

Young athletes await their turn on the floor. (Jack McNeel)


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com//2014/06/20/shoot-hoops-not-drugs-healing-lodge-seven-nations-teaches-prevention-basketball-court
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6/28/12 Former NBA Player Chris Herren Shares His Battle With Drug Addiction

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9/9/11 Kids’ Lives

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10/28/11 MusiCares & Grammy Foundation Award

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Click on the links below to see media press releases from The Healing Lodge

Washington State Public Health Association (WSPHA) Award Press Release

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Chris Herren Event at Hoopfest

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Potlatch Award Press Release

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Chris Herren at Hoopfest 2012

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