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Identifying and Reducing Disparities in Mental Health Outcomes Among American Indians and Alaskan Natives Using Public Health, Mental Healthcare and Legal Perspectives

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to investigate disparities in mental healthcare delivery in American Indian/Alaska Native populations from three perspectives: public health, legal policy and mental healthcare and provide evidence-based recommendations toward reducing those disparities. Data on mental health funding to tribes were obtained from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As a result of analysis of these data, vital statistics and current literature, we propose three recommendations to reduce mental health disparities. First, where possible, increase mental health funding opportunities for federally-recognized tribes. Second, model funding practices on principles of tribal self-determination. Finally, support diverse interventions that are culturally-based and culturally-appropriate.

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Acknowledgements

The authors kindly acknowledge Sheila Cooper and SAMHSA for providing access to data on funding to federally-recognized American Indian/Alaska Native tribes.

Funding

This study was funded by Ira and Mary Lou Fulton Gift Fund at Brigham Young University.

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Correspondence to Chantel D. Sloan.

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All author declares that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

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Payne, H.E., Steele, M., Bingham, J.L. et al. Identifying and Reducing Disparities in Mental Health Outcomes Among American Indians and Alaskan Natives Using Public Health, Mental Healthcare and Legal Perspectives. Adm Policy Ment Health 45, 5–14 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-016-0777-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-016-0777-7

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