This work was supported by funding from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Education, and the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDRR grant H133B090019), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJJDP grant 2011-TY-FX-0103).
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research
This article reports findings from three qualitative studies exploring supports for positive transitions of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth to adulthood. Community-based participatory methods were employed through a research partnership involving a culturally based community agency, the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Portland State University. Studies utilized a Relational Worldview (RWV) framework, where well-being is understood as a balance among the domains of mind, body, spirit, and context. Collectively, findings demonstrate that NAYA employs culturally grounded interventions to overcome the traumatic histories and current oppressive conditions affecting low-income urban AI/AN youth with mental health challenges and to support their well-being and transition to adulthood. In addition, addressing the mental health and well-being of AI/AN youth in culturally appropriate ways involves consideration of all RWV domains. Recommendations for behavioral health practice are to connect AI/AN youth to culturally specific services whenever possible, utilize cultural consultants, and implement holistic and positive approaches to mental health.
Published as: Friesen, B.J., Cross, T.L., Jivanjee, P. et al. J Behav Health Serv Res (2015) 42: 191.