25 U.S. Code § 1667 - Findings and purpose

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(a) FindingsCongress finds that—
(1)
(A)
the rate of suicide of American Indians and Alaska Natives is 1.9 times higher than the national average rate; and
(B) the rate of suicide of Indian and Alaska Native youth aged 15 through 24 is—
(i)
3.5 times the national average rate; and
(ii)
the highest rate of any population group in the United States;
(2) many risk behaviors and contributing factors for suicide are more prevalent in Indian country than in other areas, including—
(A)
history of previous suicide attempts;
(B)
family history of suicide;
(C)
history of depression or other mental illness;
(D)
alcohol or drug abuse;
(E)
health disparities;
(F)
stressful life events and losses;
(G)
easy access to lethal methods;
(H)
exposure to the suicidal behavior of others;
(I)
isolation; and
(J)
incarceration;
(3)
according to national data for 2005, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for Indians and Alaska Natives of both sexes aged 10 through 34;
(4)
(A) the suicide rates of Indian and Alaska Native males aged 15 through 24 are—
(i)
as compared to suicide rates of males of any other racial group, up to 4 times greater; and
(ii)
as compared to suicide rates of females of any other racial group, up to 11 times greater; and
(B)
data demonstrates that, over their lifetimes, females attempt suicide 2 to 3 times more often than males;
(5)
(A)
Indian tribes, especially Indian tribes located in the Great Plains, have experienced epidemic levels of suicide, up to 10 times the national average; and
(B)
suicide clustering in Indian country affects entire tribal communities;
(6)
death rates for Indians and Alaska Natives are statistically underestimated because many areas of Indian country lack the proper resources to identify and monitor the presence of disease;
(7)
(A)
the Indian Health Service experiences health professional shortages, with physician vacancy rates of approximately 17 percent, and nursing vacancy rates of approximately 18 percent, in 2007;
(B)
90 percent of all teens who die by suicide suffer from a diagnosable mental illness at time of death;
(C)
more than ½ of teens who die by suicide have never been seen by a mental health provider; and
(D)
⅓ of health needs in Indian country relate to mental health;
(8)
often, the lack of resources of Indian tribes and the remote nature of Indian reservations make it difficult to meet the requirements necessary to access Federal assistance, including grants;
(9)
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Service have established specific initiatives to combat youth suicide in Indian country and among Indians and Alaska Natives throughout the United States, including the National Suicide Prevention Initiative of the Service, which has worked with Service, tribal, and urban Indian health programs since 2003;
(10) the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was established in 2001 through a Department of Health and Human Services collaboration among—
(A)
the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration;
(B)
the Service;
(C)
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
(D)
the National Institutes of Health; and
(E)
the Health Resources and Services Administration; and
(11)
the Service and other agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services use information technology and other programs to address the suicide prevention and mental health needs of Indians and Alaska Natives.
(b) PurposesThe purposes of this part are—
(1) to authorize the Secretary to carry out a demonstration project to test the use of telemental health services in suicide prevention, intervention, and treatment of Indian youth, including through—
(A)
the use of psychotherapy, psychiatric assessments, diagnostic interviews, therapies for mental health conditions predisposing to suicide, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment;
(B)
the provision of clinical expertise to, consultation services with, and medical advice and training for frontline health care providers working with Indian youth;
(C)
training and related support for community leaders, family members, and health and education workers who work with Indian youth;
(D)
the development of culturally relevant educational materials on suicide; and
(E)
data collection and reporting;
(2)
to encourage Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and other mental health care providers serving residents of Indian country to obtain the services of predoctoral psychology and psychiatry interns; and
(3)
to enhance the provision of mental health care services to Indian youth through existing grant programs of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Editorial Notes
Codification

Section 721 of Pub. L. 94–437 is based on section 181 of title I of S. 1790, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, as reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate in Dec. 2009, which was enacted into law by section 10221(a) of Pub. L. 111–148.