25 U.S. Code § 1667b - Indian youth telemental health demonstration project

(a) Authorization
(1) In generalThe Secretary, acting through the Service, is authorized to carry out a demonstration project to award grants for the provision of telemental health services to Indian youth who—
(A)
have expressed suicidal ideas;
(B)
have attempted suicide; or
(C)
have behavioral health conditions that increase or could increase the risk of suicide.
(2) Eligibility for grantsGrants under paragraph (1) shall be awarded to Indian tribes and tribal organizations that operate 1 or more facilities—
(A)
located in an area with documented disproportionately high rates of suicide;
(B)
reporting active clinical telehealth capabilities; or
(C)
offering school-based telemental health services to Indian youth.
(3) Grant period

The Secretary shall award grants under this section for a period of up to 4 years.

(4) Maximum number of grantsNot more than 5 grants shall be provided under paragraph (1), with priority consideration given to Indian tribes and tribal organizations that—
(A)
serve a particular community or geographic area in which there is a demonstrated need to address Indian youth suicide;
(B)
enter into collaborative partnerships with Service or other tribal health programs or facilities to provide services under this demonstration project;
(C)
serve an isolated community or geographic area that has limited or no access to behavioral health services; or
(D)
operate a detention facility at which Indian youth are detained.
(5) Consultation with Administration

In developing and carrying out the demonstration project under this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with the Administration as the Federal agency focused on mental health issues, including suicide.

(b) Use of funds
(1) In generalAn Indian tribe or tribal organization shall use a grant received under subsection (a) for the following purposes:
(A) To provide telemental health services to Indian youth, including the provision of—
(i)
psychotherapy;
(ii)
psychiatric assessments and diagnostic interviews, therapies for mental health conditions predisposing to suicide, and treatment; and
(iii)
alcohol and substance abuse treatment.
(B)
To provide clinician-interactive medical advice, guidance and training, assistance in diagnosis and interpretation, crisis counseling and intervention, and related assistance to Service or tribal clinicians and health services providers working with youth being served under the demonstration project.
(C)
To assist, educate, and train community leaders, health education professionals and paraprofessionals, tribal outreach workers, and family members who work with the youth receiving telemental health services under the demonstration project, including with identification of suicidal tendencies, crisis intervention and suicide prevention, emergency skill development, and building and expanding networks among those individuals and with State and local health services providers.
(D) To develop and distribute culturally appropriate community educational materials regarding—
(i)
suicide prevention;
(ii)
suicide education;
(iii)
suicide screening;
(iv)
suicide intervention; and
(v)
ways to mobilize communities with respect to the identification of risk factors for suicide.
(E)
To conduct data collection and reporting relating to Indian youth suicide prevention efforts.
(2) Traditional health care practices

In carrying out the purposes described in paragraph (1), an Indian tribe or tribal organization may use and promote the traditional health care practices of the Indian tribes of the youth to be served.

(c) Applications
(1) In generalSubject to paragraph (2), to be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), an Indian tribe or tribal organization shall prepare and submit to the Secretary an application, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including—
(A)
a description of the project that the Indian tribe or tribal organization will carry out using the funds provided under the grant;
(B) a description of the manner in which the project funded under the grant would—
(i)
meet the telemental health care needs of the Indian youth population to be served by the project; or
(ii)
improve the access of the Indian youth population to be served to suicide prevention and treatment services;
(C)
evidence of support for the project from the local community to be served by the project;
(D)
a description of how the families and leadership of the communities or populations to be served by the project would be involved in the development and ongoing operations of the project;
(E)
a plan to involve the tribal community of the youth who are provided services by the project in planning and evaluating the behavioral health care and suicide prevention efforts provided, in order to ensure the integration of community, clinical, environmental, and cultural components of the treatment; and
(F)
a plan for sustaining the project after Federal assistance for the demonstration project has terminated.
(2) Efficiency of grant application process

The Secretary shall carry out such measures as the Secretary determines to be necessary to maximize the time and workload efficiency of the process by which Indian tribes and tribal organizations apply for grants under paragraph (1).

(d) Collaboration

The Secretary, acting through the Service, shall encourage Indian tribes and tribal organizations receiving grants under this section to collaborate to enable comparisons regarding best practices across projects.

(e) Annual reportEach grant recipient shall submit to the Secretary an annual report that—
(1)
describes the number of telemental health services provided; and
(2)
includes any other information that the Secretary may require.
(f) Reports to Congress
(1) Initial report
(A) In generalNot later than 2 years after the date on which the first grant is awarded under this section, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report that—
(i)
describes each project funded by a grant under this section during the preceding 2-year period, including a description of the level of success achieved by the project; and
(ii)
evaluates whether the demonstration project should be continued during the period beginning on the date of termination of funding for the demonstration project under subsection (g) and ending on the date on which the final report is submitted under paragraph (2).
(B) Continuation of demonstration project

On a determination by the Secretary under clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) that the demonstration project should be continued, the Secretary may carry out the demonstration project during the period described in that clause using such sums otherwise made available to the Secretary as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

(2) Final reportNot later than 270 days after the date of termination of funding for the demonstration project under subsection (g), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a final report that—
(A)
describes the results of the projects funded by grants awarded under this section, including any data available that indicate the number of attempted suicides;
(B)
evaluates the impact of the telemental health services funded by the grants in reducing the number of completed suicides among Indian youth;
(C) evaluates whether the demonstration project should be—
(i)
expanded to provide more than 5 grants; and
(ii)
designated as a permanent program; and
(D)
evaluates the benefits of expanding the demonstration project to include urban Indian organizations.
(g) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2013.

Editorial Notes
Codification

Section 723 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.