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Wabanaki Health and Wellness, which provides behavioral health, housing support and other services to Wabanaki community members, has received $1.38 million build and improve public health and wellness services and treatment programs.
The funding, announced by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, was awarded through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office for state, tribal, local, and territorial support. It will help the Wabanaki group respond to, and mitigate public health threats to improve the health of tribal communities across Maine.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for every Maine community to have robust public health infrastructure. This important funding for Wabanaki Health and Wellness will be a critical resource for Maine’s tribal communities and allow WHW to continue expanding health and wellness services across our state,” Collins and King said in a joint statement.
Wabanaki Health and Wellness previously received grants of $2.7 million and $1 million to expand public health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the senators said.
“Every decision we make is based on the health and healing of our Wabanaki communities, and with this grant, we can provide a broader, more holistic set of services and continue to create opportunities for healing in our communities,” said Lisa Sockabasin, director of Wabanaki Public Health. “By increasing our capacity and strengthening our organization, we can serve, lead, and transform lives.”
The grant will cover $617,504 for opioid overdose prevention services, $265,000 for suicide prevention services, as well as other funds for data modernization and other efforts, Sockabasin said.
Established in 1996, Wabanaki Health and Wellness serves four federally recognized tribes located in five communities: the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, and the Penobscot Nation.
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