The site for substance use disorder prevention and mental health promotion professionals and volunteers.

Home » Prevention spotlight: Mt. Adams School District

Prevention spotlight: Mt. Adams School District

Health Care Authority's Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery's Mental Health Promotion Project (MHPP) community-based organization, Mt. Adams School District, was recently recognized by the Children's Institute for its implementation of the Primary Project program at Harrah Elementary School. 

Nestled within the heart of the Yakama Nation, Harrah Elementary School is dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment where every student can flourish. Central to this mission is the Primary Project, a program designed to nurture the overall well-being of the school's diverse student population. The program currently serves 25 students, kindergarten through third grade, providing a nurturing space where children can explore and express their emotions freely. Through play-based interventions and one-on-one sessions, dedicated volunteers provide invaluable support, empowering students to develop essential coping skills and resilience.

The community, predominantly Native American with a notable Latinx presence, grapples with unique socio-economic and mental health challenges, including a youth homelessness rate ten times the state average and limited access to social services. High levels of community engagement and strong local partnerships allow the program to be culturally responsive and align with the community's cultural values and traditions. From ribbon skirts and shirts to drums, handbells, and farm animals and equipment, every detail is thoughtfully curated to reflect the unique heritage and experiences of the community.

To learn more about Harrah Elementary's implementation of the Primary Project, check out the Children's Institute article