The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The provision of health services to members of federally-recognized tribes grew out of the special government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. This relationship, established in 1787, is based on Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and has been given form and substance by numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Orders. The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Indian people and its goal is to raise their health status to the highest possible level. The IHS provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for American Indians and Alaska Natives who are members of 566 federally recognized Tribes across the U.S.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) Division of Clinical and Community Services (DCCS), Health Education program contributes to IHS's mission of raising the health status of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people to the highest level possible by providing information and resources to strengthen clinical, public health, and community approaches within tribal communities. It is imperative behavioral health providers remain informed of new treatment models, prevention efforts, and counseling techniques in order to meet the demands of the clients they serve. In order to meet the IHS mission, it is essential to hold a Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training of which health educators and other staff will attend to obtain necessary education to become instructors for their respective communities.