Responding to the Mental Health Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives
As part of its work in translating research to practice, the BRITE Center has been working with the UCLA Center on American Indian & Indigenous Research and Education and other community partners to build resources for mental health clinicians, social workers, educators and others interested in promoting the mental health and well-being of Native Americans populations within the United States, including those Native Americans living in densely populated urban areas. Previous research studies have found that over 20% of American Indians and Alaskan Natives are affected by mental illness, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, substance abuse and suicide. Yet there is an ongoing shortage of available mental health professionals with the cultural knowledge necessary to teach others to work with these populations.
This American Indian Mental Health Project and its workshops led to the creation of a video lecture series focused on training health educators about American Indian mental health. The workshop has been passed on to the California State Psychological Association for continuation. The video lectures and educational materials listed below explore critical topics in addressing the underserved needs of these populations. The BRITE Center compiled these resources to help programs better serve Native Americans by valuing, and respecting, the diversity of their experiences as a means to promote health and wellness.
- Co-Occuring Disorders and Urban American Indians – Al Garcia, MSW, United American Indian Involvement
- Integrating Traditional Medicine Practices into Western Mental Health Practices – Glenda Ahhaitty, acting director, American Indian Counseling Center
- Cultural Transference: Acknowledging and Confronting Stereotypes – Kumea Shorter-Gooden, PhD
- Talking Circles: Using Storytelling as an Adjunct to Dialogue – Felicia Schanche Hodge, PhD
Additional Resource Libraries
- American Indian Mental Health (pdf)
- American Indian Veterans and Mental Health Issues (pdf)
- American Indian Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (pdf)
- American Indians and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (pdf)
- American Indian Substance Abuse and Dependency (pdf)
- American Indians and Trauma (pdf)