U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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‘I Strengthen My Nation’ Campaign Helps Native Youth Resist Drugs and Alcohol

Click to Play Video

I Strengthen My Nation
Featuring Chaske Spencer Duration: 2:13

Click to Play Video

I Strengthen My Nation
Public Service Announcement Duration: 0:30

A new media campaign featuring Hollywood actor Chaske Spencer (who plays Sam Uley in the Twilight Saga) encourages Native communities to address substance abuse by teens and young adults. The “I Strengthen My Nation” campaign empowers Native youth to resist drugs and alcohol and motivates parents to talk openly to their children about drug and alcohol use. The campaign materials, which are available below, were developed in partnership with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov and Tribes. In addition, an exciting website, weRnative.org Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , is debuting. The site offers young people information on puberty, sexual violence, suicide, cultural preservation, and other important health topics.

Stand Up Against Bullying in Indian Country: Bullying Prevention PSA

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Stand Up Against Bullying
in Indian Country Duration: 1:24

The Indian Health Service recently created a public service announcement (PSA) on bullying prevention in partnership with the Indian Health Board of Nevada Youth Advisory Council and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The main thrust of the video is that bullying is not Native, and it doesn’t honor Native people’s traditions or culture. The IHS Division of Behavioral Health and the Youth Advisory Council have partnered to raise awareness about the serious problem of bullying affecting today’s youth. Bullying can take many forms: verbal, social, physical, or cyberbullying. For more information about bullying, visit stopbullying.gov Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov .

While bullying doesn’t cause suicide, a stressful environment and persistent, emotional victimization can increase a person’s risk of suicide. If you are, or someone you know is, in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov at 1–800–273–TALK (8255).

Print Campaign Against Bullying

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov , with the support of the Indian Health Service, has produced a set of public education materials to combat the problem of bullying and cyberbullying among Native American adolescents. The materials explain how to recognize the signs of bullying, how to respond to bullying, and where to get help. “Bullying is not Native. It does not honor tradition or culture,” states the campaign’s fact sheet.


Youth Regional Treatment Centers Provide Holistic, Quality Care for Adolescents and Families

IHS currently funds 11 tribally and federally operated youth regional treatment centers (YRTCs) to address the ongoing issues of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.

The YRTCs provide quality, holistic behavioral health care for American Indian and Alaska Native adolescents and their families in a substance-free, residential environment that integrates traditional healing, spiritual values, and cultural identification.

Through education and culture-based prevention initiatives, evidence- and practice-based models of treatment, family strengthening, and recreational activities, youth can overcome their challenges and recover their lives to become healthy, strong, and resilient leaders in their communities.

Vision

The Division of Behavioral Health envisions American Indian and Alaska Native communities achieving the highest levels of well-being through culturally based initiatives that integrate traditional practices and Western medicine in the context of holistic individual, family, community, and intergenerational health.

Mission

The mission of the Behavioral Health Division is to instill balance, wellness, and resilience throughout American Indian and Alaska Native communities in partnership with Tribes, Tribal organizations, and urban Indian health organizations, as well as with federal, state, and local agencies. The Division seeks to foster excellence in holistic approaches that promote healthy lifestyles, families, and communities. The Division will coordinate national efforts to build capacity and share knowledge throughout Indian Country and will assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of culture- and community-based programming.

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