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Native American/Alaska Native | General

Mental Health

The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that rates of co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse, especially alcohol, are higher among Native Americans, and that the suicide rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives is 50 percent higher than the national rate. Large-scale studies of mental disorders among older American Indians are lacking, but smaller studies have found rates of depression ranging from 10 to 30 percent. More research is needed to determine the full nature, extent and sources of these disparities.

Native American/Alaska Native Resources

  • Culture, Race and Ethnicity – Native American Indians and Mental Health
    A page from a report by the Surgeon General called Culture, Race and Ethnicity; A Supplement to Mental Health. It has many facts on need, availability and access to mental health services, nothing of a practical nature. It links to the next resource.


  • Culturally Specific Mental Health Resources
    A list of names and addressees and phone numbers for organizations that deal with American Indians and Alaska Natives with mental health problems.


  • National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research – (NCAIANMHR)
    Sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, the center is located at the University of Colorado. It is the only program of this type in the country focusing specifically on American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Includes present and past research, training opportunities, and an online journal.


  • Telling the Stories
    Developed by the New Mexico State Library Tribal Libraries Program, this website is intended to contribute to the preservation of New Mexico's diverse Native American languages and cultures by providing links to resources, tools, and educational information. The website also provides information about resources available through the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and other state government agencies.

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General Resources

  • American Association of Suicidology
    This site has practical, useful information about suicide prevention, treatment, support groups and current research. Check out their "Links of Interest."


  • Logo American Psychiatric Association  
    The American Psychiatric Association (APA) works to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorder, including mental retardation and substance-related disorders.



  • MedlinePlus Logo MedlinePlus® – Mental Health
    An excellent list of information resources on the Web is provided at MedlinePlus.gov. There are also links to related topics and specific diseases at the Mental Health and Behavior topics page found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mentalhealthandbehavior.html.


  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): For the Public
    Information from NIMH about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of many types of mental illnesses. The links are to brochures, fact sheets and Web-based information that is high quality. Much of this information is practical and useful.


  • National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
    This site is a cooperative effort among several government agencies, SAMHSA, CDC, NIH, HRSA, and IHS. Rich with information this site includes links to state suicide prevention programs, suicide facts and prevention strategies, publications and legislation and policy. These are excellent, high quality resources but no immediate help except the 1-800-SUICIDE link.

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