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Native Youth
Native youth. Photo: U.S. Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Education launches behavioral health support line
Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Bureau of Indian Education has launched a behavioral health and wellness support line for students and staff.

Students and staff at BIE schools and programs can connect with trained professionals by calling 1-844-ASK-BHWP (1-844-275-2497). The support line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“BIE schools play a critical role in student’s lives that extends beyond the classroom and into their communities and the tribal nations that they are part of,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, a political appointee at the Department of the Interior, said in a news release on Thursday “The mental health and wellness services provided through this program will also extend beyond the classroom, creating healthier and more resilient communities.”

The support line is staffed primarily by counselors with experience serving Native communities, according to the news release. They will offer crisis and non-criss services to callers.

“This program is designed to offer individual, culturally relevant crisis support, ensuring that both students and staff have access to the personalized assistance they need,” said BIE Director Tony Dearman. “Mental health is essential to success — in academics and in life. This program empowers our students and staff to thrive in the classroom while fostering the overall well-being of our entire community.”

The support line is part of the Behavioral Health and Wellness Program at the BIE. Services are provided through a contract awarded to Tribal Tech, LLC, a Native-owned business.

The BIE operates and oversees 183 schools serving approximately 45,000 students, along with two postsecondary institutions. Additionally, the BIE funds 29 tribal colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges.

Bureau of Indian Education
Graphic from Bureau of Indian Education social media post announcing behavioral health call line for students and staff on February 1, 2024.