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Behavioral Health Resources

Presentations from Story Board Session at the National Combined Councils Meeting on February 3, 2008

Behavioral Health Graphical User Interface Patient Chart

Patient Chart is a graphical user interface (GUI) to RPMS designed for use by providers and other facility and program staff in all IHS-direct, tribal, and urban (I/T/U) behavioral health programs. The Patient Chart GUI is intended to be the first component of an integrated, user-friendly graphical user interface to existing RPMS clinical and administrative applications. With the existing version of Patient Chart, a clinical user can display or print patient data, and in some cases edit or add it, in a Windows-based format. Small arrow More information

Residential Treatment Center Consortium

There are 12 Youth Regional Treatment Centers located in 10 of the IHS Areas.  Two Areas, Billings and Bimidji opted to use contract care as opposed to having their own Youth Regional Treatment Center. 

The YRTC's serve the ages of 12-18 for alcohol and drug treatment.  The Centers serve both male and female clients.  There is a strong spiritual component to the programs which make them unique and valuable to the Native American Youth they serve.

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Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services Initiative

The Health Care Financing Initiative was established to initiate discussions with the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) regarding the provision of health services to federally recognized tribes based on the federal government's unique relationship with tribes and the need for consultation with tribal governments by federal and state agencies on actions that affect them.

In recognition of the need for a more collaborative working relationship, the IHS and CMS hold regularly scheduled meetings to discuss program, payment policies and legislation that effect IHS, tribal, and urban Indian programs. We anticipate an ongoing working relationship with CMS, including the establishment of a formal committee between the IHS and CMS.

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IHS National Suicide Prevention Initiative

Dr. Grim, Director of IHS and Assistant Surgeon General, announced the Indian Health Service National Suicide Prevention Initiative to address the tragedy of suicide in our American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, on September 9, 2003. The IHS National Suicide Prevention Initiative will build on the foundation of the HHS “National Strategy for Suicide Prevention” and the 11 goals and objectives for the Nation to reduce suicidal behavior and its consequences, while ensuring we honor and respect our people’s traditions and practices.

IHS is sponsoring a National Suicide Prevention Initiative Committee to guide the development of a National American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) strategy to reduce the impact of suicide on AI/AN communities and individuals. A National Suicide Prevention Network website/toolkit is also being developed.

Emphasizing the importance of drawing community members in as a source of support and prevention by training lay-persons as QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) Gatekeepers and partnering with PREVENT to hold PREVENT Workshops: Moving Towards Violence Prevention.

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National Indian Child Welfare

AI/AN Child Health - Issues related to child health care for Alaska Native and American Indian patients.

AI/AN Child Care - Issues related to child health care for Alaska Native and American Indian patients.

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HIV Center of Excellence

The HIV Center of Excellence (HIVCOE) is a clinically based center for HIV care, treatment, research, and intervention. The center is an Indian Health Service program at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center serving the tribal and IHS facilities in the Area.

The goal is to provide the highest quality culturally competent HIV services including clinically based intervention and medically appropriate care and treatment. The mission is to provide a culturally competent, comprehensive model HIV health care delivery system in the context of the existing continuum of services for native people.

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Indian Children and Adolescent Initiative

The American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Adolescent Initiative, referred to as the "youth initiative," demonstrates the Director's commitment to addressing the challenges facing the health status and quality of life of Indian children and adolescents. Many objective indicators show an alarming disparity in the health status and the general well-being of Indian youth as compared to that of other American youth. The indicators focus interest on the broader quality of life issues for Indian children and adolescents, encompassing their physical, mental, social, educational, environmental, economic, cultural, and spiritual well-being. The agency is promoting a multi-agency approach to addressing the disparity issues.

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Children’s Health Insurance Program

Very few Indian people have access to or can afford private health insurance. Many living on reservations depend upon IHS-funded health care. IHS per capita spending is only one third the amount spent on health care by the average American. IHS direct care, and IHS-funded Tribal and urban Indian health programs provide mostly primary care services. IHS funds used to pay other health care providers for specialty care are extremely limited, estimated to meet only about 60 percent of the need for such services.

Approximately half or more of Indian people live off reservations in other rural and urban areas and often lack access to affordable, culturally appropriate care. IHS is able to fund 33 urban Indian programs for a total of only about $25 million. Many of these urban programs are only able to provide limited behavioral health services and information and referral rather than comprehensive services, leaving many unmet needs. Thus, CHIP presents a unique opportunity to maximize the potential for Federal and State funds to help fill some of the large gaps in health care for uninsured, low-income Indian children by expanding the provision of child health assistance in an effective and efficient manner.

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Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Prevention

In response to growing concerns about violence against women and child abuse and neglect in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, the Director added the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Prevention Initiative in October 1996. The initiative's purpose is to improve the IHS, tribal, and urban Indian health care response to domestic violence by providing education, training, and support to health care providers. The goal is to improve health care providers' capability to provide early identification and appropriate, culturally competent responses to victims of violence against women and related issues of child abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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Office for Victims of Crimes Child Abuse Project

It is estimated that one in every four girls and one in every seven boys will be a victims of sexual abuse in Indian Country. The immediate and extended family will also suffer the pain that the child victim feels, but it may not be openly discussed. One of the inherent strengths that Native people have is their natural support system (culture) that can assist in victim recovery. Quality of life and the quality of medical care available to American Indian and Alaskan Native child victims of abuse can be influenced. Since 1989, the Federal Crime Victims Division within the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has provided funding to American Indian Tribes to improve the investigation, prosecution, and handling of child abuse cases (particularly sexual abuse cases) that limits additional trauma to the victim.

In 2002, this organization also funded the Indian Health Service and Office for Victims of Crime (IHS/OVC) Child Abuse Project, which provides training for medical providers in Indian Country in the area of child maltreatment with emphasis on sexual and physical abuse. Beginning in 2005, the Indian Health Service will provide funding for this training program now called the Indian Health Service Child Abuse Project.

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Student Health Professions Assistance

IHS heavily recruits health professionals. "Health Professions means family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatric medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, podiatric medicine, nursing, public health nursing, dentistry, psychiatry, osteopathy, optometry, pharmacy, psychology, public health, social work, marriage and family therapy, chiropractic medicine, environmental health and engineering and allied health professions". IHS provides loan forgiveness and scholarship assistance in exchange for service contracts with IHS.

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Department of Justice

Message to Parents

Dear Parents, Teachers, and Community Members:

McGruff the Crime Dog® and his nephew Scruff® appear in this new story-comic-activity book to help Indian children learn how to make healthy decisions when confronted with alcohol or other drug use, gang involvement, or sexual abuse.

We know that children trust McGruff, an adult figure who cares about them and offers helpful advice. Scruff, a child figure, gets into situations that children may encounter or worry about. He uses his uncle McGruff's good advice to handle these problems.

This book uses traditional Native American tales to teach important messages and decision-making skills about alcohol, drugs, gangs, and abuse. Stories are part of the traditional way that we can help protect children. Read the traditional stories with children then discuss what they should do if they face situations similar to the ones in the book.

The stories may be similar to stories your tribe knows and tells. Teach children your tribe's stories so that they can learn from your traditions.
Thanks for helping to Take a Bite Out of Crime®.
We hope you enjoy the book!

The National Crime Prevention Council and the U.S. Department of Justice

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