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An Overview of Mental Health Services for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the 1990s
Scott H. Nelson; George F. McCoy; Maria Stetter; W. Craig Vanderwagen
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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Indian Health Service in the U.S. Public Health Service; 2401 12th Street, N.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102

Indian Health Service in the U. S. Public Health Service

Division of Clinical and Preventive Services of the Indian Health Service

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Native Americans appear to be at higher risk than other U.S. ethnic groups for mental health problems, including depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicide. Despite recent increases in the federal budget for mental health services for Native Americans, less than 50 percent of the estimated need for ambulatory services is being met. Initiatives to improve the quantity and quality of mental health services for Native Americans in the 1990s include development of a national mental health plan, increased technical assistance to Native American communities, additional training and research, and continued attention to standards that promote high-quality, culturally relevant care. Tribes themselves are seen as the most appropriate locus for initiation of programs for preventing emotional problems in their communities.

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