What are key psychosocial treatment programs for SMI individuals and how can clinicians learn about adapting them for an American Indian population?

The Indian Health Services (IHS) TeleBehavioral Health Center of Excellence (TBHCE) offers a series of webinars that provide information about the delivery of evidence-based care programs for individuals, including American Indians, with SMI. The goal of IHS is to provide healthcare professionals with the culturally sensitive education and training they need to provide excellent care for American Indian/Alaska Native people and communities.

The Improving Clinical Skills Webinar Series titled Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and Psychosocial Interventions is a resource for clinicians interested in learning about psychosocial interventions and how to find information about the cultural adaptation of those interventions for American Indians.

In this webinar, the learning objectives are:

  • Examine evidence-based psychosocial interventions for the treatment of SMI
  • Evaluate and recommend psychosocial interventions for the treatment of SMI
  • Apply strategies to engage individuals with SMI to participate in psychosocial interventions

This webinar provides an excellent review and explanation of several often used types of evidence-based psychosocial interventions. The webinar starts with a brief review of the 10 Principles of Recovery and states that all psychosocial interventions are provided in a recovery context. An explanation is provided of the elements of each psychosocial intervention which include family psychoeducation, illness management and recovery skills, self-management and psychological interventions, Supported Employment, and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). The speakers address the issue of cultural considerations for American Indians in applying these evidence-based therapeutic strategies but acknowledge that more research in this area is needed. For example, they acknowledge that not much is published on the application of CBT in American Indian populations, but that Motivational Interviewing has more supportive evidence for being adaptable.

For additional information, the clinician is referred to the SAMHSA Toolkit titled Modifying Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Cultural Competence and the National American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC). Additional resources to promote cultural awareness and how to adapt evidence-based interventions in American Indian populations are provided.

Access more webinars from the Indian Health Services (IHS) TeleBehavioral Health Center of Excellence (TBHCE) at https://www.ihs.gov/teleeducation/.

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