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Integrated Behavioral Health Programs

Our Mission

  • To improve the overall health care of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals, families, villages, communities, and tribes,
  • To reduce the prevalence and incidence of alcoholism and other drug abuse,
  • To reduce the prevalence and incidence of behavioral health issues and conditions,
  • To reduce domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse through the provision of education and support to AI/AN communities,
  • To promote positive behavioral health lifestyles, and wellness in individuals, families, tribes, and communities,
  • To support the efforts of AI/AN communities in holistic medical and behavioral health care, rehabilitation, and prevention services for individuals and their families,
  • To collaborate with and to support traditional practices,
  • To promote the capacity for tribal self-determination and tribal self-governance,
  • To advocate for IHS, Tribal, and Urban (I/T/U) service providers by actively participating in professional, regulatory, educational, and community organizations at the national, state, urban, and tribal levels, and
  • To strengthen suicide prevention and intervention activities through education, partnership and training.

Our Vision

To support the unique balance, culture, and strength of our AI/AN cultures, the Phoenix Area IHS Integrated Behavioral Health Programs support I/T/U communities to reduce behavioral health issues and conditions with the promotion of health and wellness in all of our communities.


The Phoenix Area Integrated Behavioral Health Programs believe in the following core values:

  • All AI/AN people have the right to be treated with dignity.
  • All AI/AN people have the right to services that improve health.

Technical Assistance

The Phoenix Area Integrated Behavioral Health Program staff members are committed to supportive services that promote culturally sensitive behavioral health care.

Available services include but are not limited to: Consultation and Services

  • Continuum of Care Consultation "Aftercare"
  • Client Placement by Area Intervention Team (AIT)
  • New Employee Orientation
  • Gathering Of Native Americans (G.O.N.A.) consultation
  • Resource Development
  • Quarterly ITU conference calls
  • Program Reviews
  • Contract Negotiation/ Renewal Meeting and Scope of Work reviews
  • Methamphetamine Suicide Prevention Initiative Grantee support


  • American Society of Addiction Medicine(ASAM)
  • Training
  • Assessment Tools Training
  • QPR Training
  • ASIST Training
  • Physical Activity Kit Training in cooperation with Phoenix Area HP/DP Coordinator
  • RPMS Training Resources

Program Accreditation

  • Joint Commission (JC) Consultation
  • AAAHC Accreditation Consultation
  • CARF Accreditation Consultation


  • Phoenix Area Integrated Behavioral Health Conference
  • Comprehensive Update on Substance Abuse & Dependency CUSAD

Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Alcohol or other drug abuse impacts American Indian and Alaska Native youth - affecting every aspect of the individual's life, causing feelings of frustration, emotional suffering, hopelessness and wounding of the spirit. Untreated substance use disorders result in social and financial burdens on our communities due to related deaths, injury, illness, crime and loss of productivity.

Behavioral health problems affect many of our nation's youth under the age of 18. Emotional disorders that co-exist with alcohol/substance abuse can result in high-risk behaviors.

Common problems encountered among children and adolescents may include childhood depression, hyperactivity, attachment reactions, anxiety, phobias, family dysfunction and disruptive behavior.

The Phoenix Area Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program promotes education for the prevention of substance abuse behavior. Intervention in the form of treatment at the appropriate level is another primary focus, with the Area Intervention Team also available for treatment placement of clients from within the treatment pool funds. Aftercare is another key element to the treatment of substance abuse, and a continuum of care must be provided for recovery to be successful for the client.

Mental Health

The Phoenix Area of the Indian Health Service (PAIHS) oversees the health care delivery to over 140,000 Native American users from 44 different tribes in the tri-state area of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The PAIHS utilizes an Integrated Behavioral Health approach which utilizes the best practices from the fields of Psychology, Social Work, and Alcohol/Substance Abuse. The Psychology services are delivered through IHS Psychology programs, Tribal Psychology programs, and/or Urban programs.

Psychology services offered vary depending on the site. General services include psychotherapy (individual, couples, group, and family), psychological assessment (evaluation and testing), psychiatric medication (evaluation & treatment), crisis intervention, primary care consultation, prevention and health education, and consultation with social service departments/agencies.

The PAIHS supports 13 service units; the largest is the Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC). The Behavioral Health Department at PIMC provides a full range of services which includes psychology, psychiatry, social work, and alcohol/substance abuse professionals. The remainder of the Psychology programs within the Phoenix Area IHS provide outpatient psychology services. Generally these programs have between two to four licensed behavioral health providers to meet the community's needs. About half of the Psychology programs are operated directly by the IHS and the other half are tribally operated programs.

The PAIHS serves over 45 different tribes, each with its own culture and customs. The Psychology programs recognize the value of each tribe's culture and customs. We work with the tribes to provide these services in a respectful and culturally competent manner in order to provide the individual with the most effective services available to them. Traditional medicine and practices are integrated into the Psychology services at many of the clinics.

As our world becomes more complex and challenging our psychological health and well-being can be affected by these and many other stressors. Even the strongest among us can struggle with the psychological burdens of stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional & physical sufferings. Research recognizes the unique burden Native American people in our country can face. In fact suicide completion among American Indian/Alaskan Native people can be (depending on the tribe) between 2 to 5 times higher than their non-native counterparts in the U.S. Other challenges such as domestic violence, homicide, depression, traumatic stress, and many types of abuse negatively affect our daily physical, emotional, and spiritual life. The Psychology programs in our area have highly trained and licensed mental health professionals available to help those in need. These professionals have routine quality assurance reviews, peer reviews, and all our direct care facilities are fully accredited by a major accrediting agency.

The PAIHS has a number of behavioral health initiatives and strategies to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges facing today's American Indian/Alaskan Native person. These activities include:

  • Phoenix Area Suicide Prevention Initiative utilizing "best practice' strategies to address suicide in the PAIHS. These practices include:
    • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
    • Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR)
    • Assessing & Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR)
  • Native American Suicide Prevention Committee
  • Methamphetamine & Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI)
  • Domestic Violence Initiative
  • Phoenix Area Integrated Behavioral Health Initiative
  • Integration of Behavioral Health into the Primary Care Setting
  • Tele-Behavioral Health
  • Prescribing Psychologist program
  • PAIHS Behavioral Health Rapid Response Program. This program manages a team of Behavioral Health professionals to respond to natural disasters (floods…) and emergencies (suicide clusters…) within our region.
  • Partnerships with tribal and urban American Indian organizations as well as city, county, state, and federal agencies.
  • Electronic Behavioral Health Records

The challenging news is that American Indian/Alaskan Native people in our region have many challenges to face. The good news is the PAIHS Integrated Behavioral Health Team has the knowledge and experience to know what works to support physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being. We invite you to live a healthy life, to attend to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of your community, your family, and yourself.

Social Services

The main duty of the Social Work Consultant is to provide professional knowledge, practices, resources and consultative information services for the social workers employed at the Indian Health Service Social Service Programs in the Phoenix Area. These services include but are not limited to…

  • Technical Assistance
  • Provide leadership for social services programs
  • Advocate for the social work profession
  • Consults via telecommunications with social workers on regular basis
  • Site visits
  • Provides program reviews including reviewing program standards
  • Training on documentation
  • Education/Prevention presentations
  • Recruitment
  • Provide current GPRA data
  • Prevention activities
  • Training orientation
  • Information on Tele-behavioral
  • Response to crisis
  • Current on state licensure laws/regulations
  • Dissemination of current information such as Grants, new studies, Promising/Best Practices, updated suicide information and Resources, new policies within the field
  • Suicide Prevention training (QPR training)
  • Our social workers in the Phoenix Area are all licensed professional social workers. We have 24 social workers working at 11 sites

Our mission as social workers is to ensure personal well-being for each individual that we work with either an internal or external patient/client. In addition we strive to promote and enhance the mental, social, physical and spiritual health of each individual we encounter from a psychosocial perspective. Our area of expertise is improving the psychosocial environment for American Indians/Alaskan Natives.

A/SAP Downloads:

Behavioral Health Web Sites:

Contact Information

If you are seeking medical treatment at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC), please call 602-263-1200. If this is an inquiry about the Integrated Behavioral Health program for the Phoenix Area Office, please call the Phoenix Area Office of Health Programs at 602-364-5179.