The movement for health equity recognizes that not all people have the same opportunity to achieve optimal health outcomes; this is especially true for Indigenous health equity as access is influenced by structural barriers built and sustained by colonization. American Indian and Alaska Native communities have the highest rate of suicide among all ethnic groups in the United States.
Further, Native youth have a suicide rate 1.5x higher than the general population and face a higher risk for depression and substance use. Very little improvements have been seen in Native health outcomes as the movement for health equity continues to be based in western cultural norms. There is a persistent need for culturally specific mental health interventions for Native youth. This session will describe Native mental health needs, introduce Indigenous health equity as a path forward, and demonstrate this through culturally grounded mental health interventions for Native youth.