Resources on this population include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, and related behavioral health resources.
Data and Reports
- Behavioral Health Barometer U.S. Vol. 4 (Indicators measured through 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (2016) (PDF | 1.3 MB)
- Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Report: American Indian and Alaska Native Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Are More Likely Than Other Admissions to Report Alcohol Abuse – 2014 (PDF | 509 KB)
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality: Data Spotlight: Almost Half of American Indian and Alaska Native Adult Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions are Referred Through the Criminal Justice System – 2012 (PDF | 65 KB)
- National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Report: Need for and Receipt of Substance Use Treatment Among American Indians or Alaska Natives – 2012
SAMHSA Programs and Initiatives
SAMHSA’s Tribal Affairs Agenda
The tribal affairs agenda includes opportunities for informed communication with tribal leaders on SAMHSA policies and programs to improve behavioral health among Native American populations. The primary focus of SAMHSA’s tribal affairs agenda is youth suicide and substance use disorder prevention within American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Also, SAMHSA strives to engage federal agencies, national and regional American Indian and Alaska Native organizations, states, and behavioral health providers to collaborate on mitigating the social and economic factors that impede positive behavioral health outcomes.
Mission: To develop, coordinate, and communicate SAMHSA’s policies and resources to improve behavioral health in tribal and village communities.
Vision: American Indian and Alaska Native populations will enjoy a high-quality, self-directed, satisfying life integrated in a community that includes:
- Health — Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) as well as living in a physically and emotionally healthy way
- Home — Living in a stable and safe place that supports recovery
- Purpose — Participating in meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, as well as the independence, income, and resources to be involved in society
- Community — Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope
Work with the SAMHSA Tribal Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC)
SAMHSA established the TTAC in February 2008 to acknowledge and support the federal government-tribal government relationship. The committee is:
- Comprised of elected or appointed tribal leaders
- Charged with providing information on the public health needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives, especially identifying urgent substance use and mental health needs, and discussing collaborative approaches to meeting those needs
The SAMHSA TTAC meets at least two times a year. For more information, visit the SAMHSA Tribal Technical Advisory Committee.
SAMHSA participates in:
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) annual tribal budget consultation every March and the agency’s regional consultation held January to May
For more information on the HHS tribal consultation policy and process, visit the Intergovernmental and External Affairs website.
Tribal and Training Technical Assistance Center
The Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTA) provides training and technical assistance on mental and substance use disorders, suicide prevention, and the promotion of mental health. The TTA offers broad, focused, and intensive training and technical assistance to federally recognized tribes, other American Indian and Alaska Native communities, SAMHSA tribal grantees, and organizations serving Indian country.
Circles of Care Program (COC)
The COC is a three-year discretionary infrastructure grant program for American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, and tribal organizations (including urban Indian programs and tribal colleges). The COC is housed in the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch of the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services. The program’s primary goals include:
- Planning for the development of a community-based system of care model for children with mental health challenges and their families
- Developing local capacity and infrastructure to assist tribal communities to obtain funding and resources to implement their model system of care
The grant program allows tribes and tribal organizations to apply without competing for funding with states, counties, or cities. In the current cohort, grantees are allowed to use up to 30% of their funds to pilot a service that is designed to implement the infrastructure changes they develop in their model system of care.
Future COC grant opportunities will depend on the availability of funds. For more information, visit SAMHSA’s grant announcements.
SAMHSA Behavioral Health Resources
- Bullying Prevention in Indian Country – 2016
- Suicide Prevention in Indian Country – 2016
- HRSA/IHS/SAMHSA Tribal Suicide Prevention Resources – 2014 (PDF | 300 KB) provides an overview of the suicide prevention resources offered by HRSA, IHS, and SAMHSA.
- Promoting Suicide Prevention Efforts in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities (AI/AN): A Cross-Agency Approach – 2014 (PDF | 112 KB)
- Strategies for Behavioral Health Organizations to Promote New Health Insurance Opportunities in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities – 2014
- To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults – 2010 (PDF | 10.3 MB) lays the groundwork for community-based suicide prevention and mental health promotion plans for American Indian and Alaska Native youth and young adults. Also, it addresses risks, protective factors, and awareness, and describes prevention models for action.
- The American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Card, A Guide to Build Cultural Awareness – 2009 intends to enhance cultural competence when serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. It covers regional differences, cultural customs, spirituality, communications styles. Other topics covered include the role of veterans and the elderly, and health disparities, such as suicide.
- Video: ACA 101: Basics for Urban Indian Populations (51 minutes)
Federal Initiatives and Resources
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Secretary
- Interdepartmental Council on Native American Affairs
- Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs/Tribal Affairs
- The Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee
- Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs & Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Indian Health Service
- The Mental Health and American Indians/Alaska Natives at the HHS Office of Minority Health is a webpage that highlights fast facts related to mental health and American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education leads the implementation of Executive Order 13592, Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities. This Executive Order replaces and improves upon Executive Order 13270 in helping to provide American Indian and Alaska Native students of all ages with high quality education and career-building opportunities.