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Tribal State Relations

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) is committed to establishing collaborative relationships with Oklahoma’s tribal nations recognizing their sovereign status and contributions to creating a healthier Oklahoma.

The mission of the ODMHSAS is to promote healthy communities and provide the highest quality care to enhance the well-being of all Oklahomans. The Department acknowledges and affirms common goals with Oklahoma’s Tribal Governments to:

1) Eliminate health and human services disparities faced by American Indian (AI) populations;

2) Maximize access to mental health and substance abuse services; and

3) Achieve health equity for all American Indian people and communities.

ODMHSAS supports a holistic framework that reinforces the belief that the mind, body, and spirit are all connected to health and that tribes know best how to address their needs through prevention activities, community partnership, and collaborating with other agencies in prevention and treatment efforts.

Josh DeBartolo, MHR
Tribal & Multicultural Liaison

"As the Tribal & Multicultural Liaison for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services we first must recognize that Oklahoma is a unique state. Our state must be intentional and strategic in our approach through partnerships. Collaborating on resources and experiences of all strengthens our relationships, and positively impacts the continuum of care for our client and their families. Personally, I look forward to working with our tribal and community partners to strengthen our robust and innovative Behavioral Health system."


Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized tribal nations (see Tribal Jurisdictional map of Oklahoma Tribal Nations).

In Oklahoma there are three types of Indian Health facilities: facilities operated by IHS and facilities operated by Tribes and Urban Indian clinics. IHS is the federal agency responsible for providing health services to most American Indians and Alaska Natives. There are approximately 50 American Indian health care facilities in Oklahoma (including hospitals and clinics.).

Tribal Consultation Policy

To facilitate communication between Tribal Nations and the ODMHSAS, the ODMHSAS has designated a Tribal Liaison. The Tribal Liaison will ensure that the following are available to Tribal Nations:

  1. State wide mental health and substance abuse data
  2. ODMHSAS services, programs, and policies
  3. ODMHSAS trainings and other behavioral health related opportunities.

Additionally, the Tribal Liaison will maintain communication with tribal representatives of a Tribal Nation.

The ODMHSAS may seek input from appropriate elected tribal officials before undertaking any action that will significantly affect American Indian people.

Tribal Consultation Treatment Map

Josh DeBartolo

Tribal & Multicultural Liaison

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