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

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About Us

Part of IHS's Office of Clinical and Preventive Services (OCPS), the Division of Behavioral Health:

  1. Applies identified profession and program standards, monitors and evaluates community and Area-wide services provided through grants or contracts with AI/AN Tribes, villages, organizations, and direct IHS operations for mental health, social services, and alcohol/substance abuse;
  2. Coordinates AI/AN community behavioral health programs including alcohol/substance abuse prevention and treatment, mental health, and social work with program directors, division staff, Area staff, and other agencies and institutions;
  3. Coordinates contracts and grants for behavioral health services and monitors services provided;
  4. Makes program and policy changes using data analysis, recommendations from operational levels, research results, and coordinates resource allocation from program policies;
  5. Provides behavioral health program consultation to AI/AN groups and IHS staff;
  6. Provides leadership in the identification of behavioral change interventions and supports implementation at the community level;
  7. Coordinates with Federal, State, professional, private, and community organizations on alternate health care resources;
  8. Works with other Federal agencies and departments to provide additional Federal resources for AI/AN behavioral health programs;
  9. Provides financial resources and programmatic oversight for complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act through programs such as the Indian Children’s Program, and for elders through partnerships with the Administration on Aging and the National Indian Council on Aging;
  10. Measures and evaluates the quality of behavioral health care services; and
  11. Prepares information on behavioral health for budgetary hearings and provides program evaluation results to the IHS Director, the Congress, and the Administration.

The Indian Health Service's Behavioral Health fact sheet page contains overview information on the program and is also available to 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.