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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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About Us

The mission of the Indian Health Service is to raise the health status of the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people to the highest level possible. The vision of the Division of Behavioral Health is integrated health and wellness that is holistic, encompassing all aspects of the mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of AI/AN individuals, families and communities.

Our mission encompasses the following 8 goals:

  1. To improve the overall health care of AI/AN individuals, families, villages, communities, and Tribes;
  2. To reduce the prevalence and incidence of alcoholism and other drug dependencies;
  3. To reduce the prevalence and incidence of behavioral health diseases and conditions;
  4. To maximize positive behavioral health and resilience in individuals, families, and communities;
  5. To support the efforts of AI/AN communities toward achieving excellence in holistic behavioral health treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention services for individuals and their families;
  6. To advocate for and support Tribal and Urban Indian behavioral health treatment and prevention efforts;
  7. To promote the capacity for self-determination, self-governance, and service delivery; and
  8. To advocate for AI/ANs and service providers by actively participating in professional, regulatory, educational, and community organizations at the national, state, urban, and Tribal levels.

The Indian Health Service's Behavioral Health fact sheet page contains overview information on the program and is also availableto download as a PDF format document.

In 2011, IHS published a strategic plan and a briefing book that lay out goals and objectives for dealing with suicide, alcoholism, substance abuse, and other behavioral health issues in Indian Country, renewing IHS partnerships with Tribes, forming collaborations with other agencies and organizations, reforming IHS along with emerging National Health care laws, and improving access to and quality of care.