March 29, 2016
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Strength of Mind: Caring for Your Mental Health

An American man standing

For individuals, families and communities, mental health is as central to well-being as physical health. Knowing the signs of depression and where to reach out for support can be lifesaving.

This issue, featuring information to support people and communities in their efforts to promote mental health, is brought to you by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), all components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Featured News and Health Information

Two Teens Comforting

Depression: What You Need to Know is a free booklet from NIMH that contains information on the signs and symptoms of depression, treatment and support options, and a listing of additional resources. Depression is a risk factor for suicide; the booklet can help someone recognize the symptoms of depression and understand how it is treated.

Conversation Two Women

Chronic Illness and Mental Health, on NIMH’s website, discusses chronic illnesses and depression, including symptoms, health effects, treatment and recovery. The risk of depression is higher for people with serious chronic health conditions. This free booklet emphasizes the importance of treating depression, even for those dealing with other health issues.

holding hands

Suicide in America: Frequently Asked Questions is a free booklet from NIMH that gives an overview of suicide, including risk factors, what we know about the causes, and some of the things people can do to prevent suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the second among young people ages 15 to 34.

Two Persons Talking

How to Talk About Suicide, from the IHS, offers dialog that may be useful to health professionals, friends and family of anyone who may be thinking about suicide. Talking about suicide and listening to those who share suicidal thoughts or behaviors are important tools that may be used not only to prevent suicide, but also to help heal those who have lost hope.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline logo

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. By dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline’s national network of more than 150 crisis centers. The Lifeline provides crisis counseling and mental health referrals day and night, 365 days a year.

Two Women Talking

Suicide Prevention resources, from SAMHSA’s Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center, offers a list of organizations, links, articles and other resources for suicide prevention. Many of the resources listed are specific to Native American populations.

SPRC logo

The SAMHSA-funded Suicide Prevention Resource Center American Indian/Alaska Native portal gives health professionals resources to support suicide prevention and promote mental health among Native populations. The portal also includes a best practices registry featuring culturally based approaches that may reduce risk and increase protective factors for suicide.

Playing on Cellphone

Suicide Safe, SAMHSA's suicide prevention app for mobile devices and optimized for tablets, helps health providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients. SAMHSA’s free suicide prevention app is available for mobile devices.

Events, Training, Grants and Funding

NPW Logo

National Prevention Week, May 15–21, 2016, is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental health and/or substance use disorders. National Prevention Week is timed to allow schools to take part in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness in students of all ages. The website offers a toolkit for organizing community events in connection with National Prevention Week. SAMHSA is among the partners for National Prevention Week.

Teen reading

SAMHSA’s Tribal Portfolio Programs [PDF – 183 KB] offers a summary of grant funding available to tribes, including programs to promote mental health and prevent suicide. The page also has links to data and technical assistance resources.


SAMHSA’s Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center provides resources and training on mental health and substance use disorders, suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health. The Center supports Native community self-determination through infrastructure development, capacity building and program planning and implementation.

parents and their son

The Hope for Life Day toolkit is geared towards professionals and grassroots organizers working in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities to implement a communitywide Hope for Life Day on September 10—World Suicide Prevention Day—each year. The toolkit is developed by the American Indian/Alaska Native Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership formed to help reduce suicide in AI/AN communities.

Last Reviewed: 03/29/2016