Chalk the Walk contest

Dustin Mathis, an EVS worker at the Rubin White Clinic in Poteau, won first place in the Chalk the Walk contest.

CNHSA Behavioral Health holds Chalk the Walk Competition

By Courtney L. Akins, MS, LPC
November 1, 2022

During the initial outbreak of COVID, Choctaw Nation Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention grants had to devise ways to provide outreach education messages without face-to-face contact and interaction.

That is how Chalk the Walk came about, and it has become an annual event at the Choctaw Nation Health Services clinics and hospital. September was suicide prevention month, and to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health assistance and encourage others, this contest asked that everyone “Don’t just talk the talk, Chalk the Walk”.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Native Americans aged 10-34 in 2019. Behavioral Health grants awarded through the Indian Health Services (IHS) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) raise awareness about mental health, suicide signs and symptoms and resources available through Choctaw Nation.

Chalk the Walk contest winner Dustin Mathis

Dustin Mathis, an EVS worker at the Rubin White Clinic in Poteau, was so excited to participate in the project that he purchased extra chalk colors and even worked through his lunch hour.

The Behavioral Health department has counselors at seven clinics, the Talihina hospital campus and integrated therapists that assist with needs throughout the medical clinics. For more information on services available, please call 918-567-7000.

The winners of this year’s contest are:

  • First Place: Poteau Clinic, Dustin Mathis
  • Second Place: Talihina, Aiyana Hernandez, Calixta Guerrero and Charlea Jones
  • Third Place: Chi Hullo Li, Clients