The cumulative emotional trauma spanning generations of American Indian and Alaskan Natives—also known as historical trauma—continues to affect the behavioral health and wellness among families and Tribes. Special considerations must be taken into account when working with this population. Resources in this section provide information on mental health concerns, historical trauma, suicide, substance use, and domestic violence as it relates to American Indian and Alaskan Native children and families.
American Indian and Alaska Natives Communities Mental Health Facts (PDF - 100 KB)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (2007)
Provides mental health facts specific to the American Indian and Alaska Native population, including cultural differences in the propensity to seek help, suicide rates, and the impact of living in a stressful environment.
American Indian & Alaskan Native Resource Manual (PDF - 3,826 KB)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (2013)
Provides resources including factsheets, organizations, and manuals related to promoting behavioral health and wellness in the American Indian/Alaskan Native community.
Cultural Adaptations of Trauma Treatments in Indian Country (PDF - 1,500 KB)
Whitegoat & van den Pohl (2013)
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare
CW360º: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue
Describes how traditional native culture activities have been integrated into evidence-based trauma treatments at the National Native Children's Trauma Center in Montana. The article reports that the cultural adaptations enhance acceptability, sustainability, and effectiveness of trauma treatments, as well as the engagement of local community members in participatory dialog regarding their perceptions on the value of treating childhood trauma, the outcomes of successful trauma treatment, and whether there are traditional support strategies that could be blended with the evidence-based trauma treatment.
Fast Facts on Native American Youth and Indian Country (PDF - 457 KB)
Aspen Institute, Center for Native American Youth (2011)
Includes general information on Native American Tribes and culture, details on Federal services for Native Americans, challenges in Indian Country, and statistics on Native American youth.
Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Provides broad, focused, and intensive training and technical assistance on mental and substance use disorders, suicide prevention, and the promotion of mental health to federally recognized Tribes, other American Indian/Alaska Native communities, SAMHSA Tribal grantees, and organizations serving Indian Country. The Tribal TTA Center uses a culturally relevant, evidence-based, holistic approach to support Native communities in their self-determination efforts through infrastructure development and capacity building, as well as program planning and implementation.