New behavioral health organization offers culturally sensitive recovery programs and fights fraud for Arizona's Native Americans
By Michelle Talsma Everson -
Monday Nov 06, 2023
Whispering Creek Health, a newly established behavioral health organization, is making strides in addressing the critical issue of substance abuse within the Native American community, while also combating the rampant fraud that has plagued this vulnerable population in Arizona.
Substance abuse statistics among Native Americans are alarming, with American Indians and Alaska Natives experiencing the highest rates of substance abuse and dependence, reaching as high as 12.8% in 2017, as reported by the Center for Disease Control and National Statistics. Whispering Creek Health recognizes the urgent need for comprehensive recovery and education programs tailored specifically to the Native American community.
The issue is further exacerbated by fraudulent recovery programs that have taken advantage of Native Americans and the funds designated for their treatment and recovery. These fraudulent schemes include short-term recovery programs that recycle clients through various affiliated programs for financial gain, programs that provide abused substances to clients, and facilities that leave clients unsupervised during their recovery journey. Some even bring Native Americans from other states, leaving them far from home and vulnerable to exploitation. Whispering Creek Health, founded by Native American tribal members, is taking a stand against these issues.
"I have witnessed the abuses and challenges faced by tribal members in their recovery, and I saw the total abandonment of Native Americans when fraudulent programs were suspended for alleged fraud,” says Allen King, CEO of Whispering Creek Health. “I desired the opportunity to create a high-quality, exclusive Native American recovery program, and that's why I partnered with others in the behavioral health arena to create Whispering Creek Health."
What sets Whispering Creek Health apart is its commitment to providing culturally sensitive and comprehensive recovery programs. The organization offers a unique three-phase approach to recovery. Whispering Creek Health recognizes that recovery requires time and support, and their six-month aftercare program is a testament to their dedication to long-term success.
"Today I am a Culture Coordinator in the Behavioral Health field, I provide culture-appropriate-based programs in group settings and am a certified Wellbriety Firestarter for the Medicine Wheel 12 Steps program,” says Jacob Allison, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. “That message I got from my sponsor, 'How free do you want to be,' had such an impact on my life. Today I get to appreciate and enjoy life and contribute to my loved ones' lives and the many lives I encounter in my life."
Whispering Creek Health is not only providing hope to those seeking recovery but is also actively involved in giving back to the Native American community. The organization contributes 10% of its net proceeds to the Hummingbird Spirit Foundation, dedicated to the health and wellness of Native Americans across the United States.