November marks National Native American Heritage Month. We celebrate the diverse and rich culture, history, and traditions of our nation’s first people; their pictures, words, names, and stories are integral in American cultural history. During this time, we have the chance to educate ourselves and others about the nations and to raise awareness about the struggles native people have faced in the past and continue to face in the present.
I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more.
— Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, known as Chief Joseph, leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain, Nez Perce
Mental Health in Native American Communities
There have not been many studies about Native American attitudes regarding mental health and mental illness. There is a general Native American worldview that encompasses the notions of connectedness, reciprocity, balance, and completeness that frames their views of health and well-being.
In 2010, the American Psychiatric Association found Native Americans experience serious psychological distress 1.5 times more than the general population.
Research has found that Native American men and women who meet the criteria for depression, anxiety, or substance abuse disorders are significantly more likely to seek help from a spiritual healer than from specialty or other medical sources.
Community Voices: Sharing Native American Insights and Stories
Are you a community member from a Native American community that has been impacted by mental illness? Our Represent Recovery Program aims to elevate the voices of those from underserved communities, as well as to provide resources.