Skip to main content

American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health: Diverse Perspectives on Enduring Disparities

About the Course:

This article addresses several important factors associated with the provision of mental health services to American Indian/Alaskan Native populations; including the following:
1. Societal shifts in ethno-racial identification whereby formerly non-Native individuals are increasingly self-reporting American Indian/Alaskan Native identities is rendering mental health status of these groups increasingly difficult to study.
2. American Indian/Alaskan Natives suffer from specific mental health disparities including proportionately high rates of substance abuse, posttraumatic stress, youth behavior problems, and suicide.
3. Mental health services provided specifically for American Indian/Alaskan Natives are funded primarily by the federal government and administered by the Indian Health Service or tribal governments.
4. Although a few evidence-based treatments have been culturally adapted for use with American Indian/Alaskan Native clients, very little empirical intervention outcome research has been conducted with these populations.
5. Many American Indian/Alaskan Natives are skeptical toward or dismissive of mainstream mental health services owing to differences in cultural orientation and commitments to tribal self-determination.
The authors conclude by presenting two distinctive pathways toward future elimination of American Indian/Alaskan Native mental health disparities. These include (1) solutions grounded in professional knowledge, activities, and institutions in the context of clinical health services, and (2) alternative pathways grounded in local American Indian/Alaskan Native knowledge, activities, and institutions in the context of community projects of cultural reclamation and tribal self-determination.


Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

Publication Date:


Course Material Authors

Joseph P. Gone

Joseph P. Gone is associate professor of Psychology (Clinical Area) and American Culture (Native American Studies) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Gone has published more than 50 articles and chapters exploring the cultural psychology of self, identity, personhood, and social relations in indigenous community settings vis-à-vis the mental health professions, with particular attention to therapeutic interventions such as psychotherapy and traditional healing.

Joseph E. Trimble

Joseph E. Trimble is a Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University. Throughout his career he has focused his efforts on promoting psychological and sociocultural research with indigenous populations, especially American Indians and Alaska Natives. Such efforts have included the presentation of over 150 papers, invited addresses, and invited lectures at professional meetings, and generated over 140 publications and technical reports on topics in psychology and higher education research including 18 authored or edited books. Dr. Trimble’s excellence in teaching and research has been recognized by his peers over the years, resulting in numerous academic awards.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about substance abuse on Amercan Indians and Alaska Natives. It is appropriate for intermediate to advanced levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Recognize the specific challenges of identifying and defining American Indian/Alaskan Natives.

  2. Summarize the disparities in mental health status that afflict American Indian/Alaskan Natives.

  3. Identify key factors regarding American Indian/Alaskan Native mental health sevices including their availability and effectiveness.

  4. Examine competing alternatives for how best to remedy the mental health problems of American Indian/Alaskan Natives.

Use our CE Approvals tool to look up your state requirements and how can help you meet them, or log in to your member account to show approvals relevant to your licensure.

American Psychological Association (APA)

CE Learning Systems is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

More Info

National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

Our Provider Number: 5951

CE Learning Systems, service provider of has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5951. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. CE Learning Systems is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NBCC Counselors completing this course will receive 4 credits.

More Info

NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)

Our Provider Number: 192243

This course has been approved by CE Learning Systems, service provider of, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #107243, CE Learning Systems is responsible for all aspects of their programming.

More Info

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

NASP accepts 30 CPD credits of sequenced self-study per each three year renewal.

More Info

American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders (AAHCPAD)

Our Provider Number: 17-1460

CE Learning Systems dba has been approved to offer Continuing Education credit for Certified Addiction Specialists (CAS) in accordance with the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. Approval No. 17-1460.

More Info

Course Article

Exam Questions

All exam questions for the course are visible on this page for members of

Membership is free, and you can sign up today! You'll only pay when you're ready to purchase a course, or if you take advantage of the Unlimited Package.

If you're already a member, please log in to see the exam questions for this and all other courses.


  • Is this course approved for my continuing education requirements?

    Check the CE Approvals above, or Find Your State Board for more detailed information.

  • Do you have special accommodations for my disability (ADA)?

    Please contact us! We would be happy to accommodate your needs right away, and your input will help us make more accessible for future users too.

  • How do I enroll in this course?

    Use the Take This Course button and just follow the instructions! You don't pay anything until you're ready to take an exam.

  • What do I have to do to complete the course?

    To complete the course, review the course objectives, then review the material, and then pass the exam with a score of 75% or greater and lastly complete an evaluation.

  • How do I access the materials?

    Most of our courses are based on online articles available for free to the public. Some courses, such as those based on books, require that you purchase the material. Use the Course Materials tab above for more info. You don't need to enroll in the course to access materials, whether free or paid. So you always know what you're getting into before you commit to taking the course.

  • How do I get my certificate?

    Your certificate will be available to download or email immediately when you pass the course exam and complete the evaluation.

  • Can I contact you for more help?

    Yes! Use the Help widget at the bottom-right of the screen anywhere on to search our help docs, or to ask our support team for help.

Course Number 102175
4 credit hours
  • Online Article
Exam Fee: $27.88No exam fee with a Plus or Unlimited membership package!
4.4 out of 5
266 members have taken this course