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October 2022

Am J Community Psychol. 1988 Jun; 16(3): 369-79.

An indigenous community mental health service on the Tohono O'odham (Papago) Indian Reservation: seventeen years later.

Kahn MW, Lejero L, Antone M, Francisco D, Manuel J.

Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.

The status of a fully indigenous mental health program serviced and controlled by the Tohono O'odham (Papago) Indian tribe is reviewed from the perspective of its 17-year history. The program functions in large measure in a crisis intervention model, with suicidal or acutely disturbed cases being most frequent. However, a whole range of disorders and ages are seen. Traditional Medicine Men and Women are often used as consultants, as are some professionals. In recent years child sex abuse and abuse of drugs among youth are prominent problems. The program experienced problems of obtaining services off reservations for patients in need, and in establishing credibility of the Indian Mental Health workers with the outside service providers.

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