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Behavioral Health Partnerships

Activities of the IHS and Canada FASD Ad Hoc Working Group

The Indian Health Service (IHS)/Health and Human Services (HHS) and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB)/Health Canada (HC) Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) Ad Hoc Working Group on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was developed to address concerns and share solutions regarding the disparity of FASD rates among the Indigenous people of North America. It was a direct result of the MOU between the HHS and HC, signed in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2002. The purpose of this MOU is to “share knowledge through an agreed upon annual schedule of work which may include the exchange of information and personnel, the conducting of workshops, conferences, seminars and meetings”.

National Collaboration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the lead Agency responsible for improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses.

SAMHSA has a well established track record in working with Native American tribes and communities. An important aspect of this work has involved consultation with tribal leaders, Native American providers, experts and elders at different phases of project development and implementation. SAMHSA adheres to the belief that early and meaningful community input is an essential factor in successful program outcomes. When SAMHSA was originally established in 1992, it conducted a series of regional meetings to obtain input from constituency groups on the new organization. Tribal leaders and representatives from Native American organizations were actively involved in this consultation process.

SAMHSA has ongoing consultation with its 140 existing Native American grantees. This is a rich source of information that serves to shape learning. In addition to the excellent programmatic efforts that SAMHSA and its three Centers (CSAT, CSAP and CMHS) have undertaken in Indian Country, the Director and IHS Director, Dr. Michael Trujillo have met frequently to discuss areas of mutual interest and concern, to assess the status of joint projects and to explore options for future collaboration. At the staff level, SAMHSA and IHS have built strong relationships that have resulted in numerous exchanges and collaborations.

New Freedom Initiative: In carrying out President Bush's Executive Order 13217, under the New Freedom Initiative, Public Input is requested on barriers in federal law, policy, and programs that limit the ability of people of any age with a disability to live more independently in the community, engage in public employment, and participate in community life.

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IHS/HHS and First Nations and Inuit Health Branch/Health Canada’s MOU Activities

Small arrow Purpose of the MOU: PPT 693K “To share knowledge through an agreed upon annual schedule of work which may include the exchange of information and personnel, the conducting of workshops, conferences, seminars and meetings.”

A Collaborative Effort to Address Suicide, FASD Prevention/Intervention, and other issues Among Indigenous People

For more information, visit the Division of Behavioral Health web site

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This file last modified: Tuesday July 22, 2008  9:43 AM