Great Plains Cultural Ways Mental Health Careers Program

  • Whitbeck, Leslie B (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application seeks five years of funding to initiate a Career Opportunity in Research Education and Training (COR) honors undergraduate training program for Great Plains American Indian students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Although American Indians make up a small percentage of U.S. minorities, Great Plains Native people are severely disadvantaged economically and socially. Mental health needs in this population are not adequately addressed and the need for trained mental health researchers who are familiar with and who will be welcomed into Great Plains Native communities is critical. UNL's more than $6M in NIH funding involving research with American Indian nations, strong ties to tribal colleges within Nebraska and adjacent states, and commitment to serving Native students makes it an ideal site for a COR program. The proposed training program will build on a culturally specific research approach that will include traditional approaches to well being along with European approaches to mental health research and evaluation. It will include Native teachers, student mentors, and advisory board members to insure cultural sensitivity at every level of the training program. In addition, the training program will provide state-of-the-science internship training in mental health and substance abuse basic and prevention research. The program will involve innovative learning community methods, tribal mentorship to maintain community support and ties to the community, credited courses from native healers, elders, spiritual leaders, and social services providers, and reservation or Native urban based research internships. With very few exceptions, current training programs have underserved the Native population. There are no Great Plains training programs although many of the Nation's American Indians reside there. The proposed program meets a critical need for preparing native undergraduates for careers in mental health research.
Effective start/end date8/4/047/31/09


  • National Institutes of Health: $130,006.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $232,418.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $237,017.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $314,065.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $207,070.00


  • Medicine(all)


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