R44634 – Behavioral Health Among American Indian and Alaska Natives: An Overview – 2016-09-12


Behavioral Health Among American Indian and Alaska Natives: An Overview

SKU: R44634-2016-09-12 Category: Tag:


Author: Erin Bagalman, Analyst in Health Policy
Pages: 24

This report provides background information and a summary of federal programs related to behavioral health among the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population. Both Congress and the Administration have demonstrated an interest in addressing AI/AN behavioral health. Congressional hearings have focused on behavioral health problems such as alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, and youth suicide in the AI/AN population. Members have introduced legislation containing behavioral health elements as part of larger efforts to improve the health of the AI/AN population. For example, some bills would call for recommendations to improve behavioral health (among other things) or fund demonstration projects addressing behavioral health (among other things). In 2014, the President specifically mentioned behavioral health problems such as substance abuse and suicide in his remarks when he announced the creation of Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), a federal initiative that collaborates with organizations such as the Aspen Institute to assist tribal youth through programs, policies, and leadership opportunities. This report begins by clarifying the scope of information covered. It then provides background information about AI/AN behavioral health-including the high prevalence of risk factors, the high prevalence of specific behavioral health problems, and limited access to care. The report then summarizes each of the programs that meet criteria for inclusion. It concludes with a brief discussion of how an understanding of the scope and limits of existing programs might inform certain policy decisions. Bills: H.R. 2751, H.R. 5072

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