Weekly Wrap-Up
November 6, 2020



Historical Trauma: The Confluence of Mental Health and History in Native American Communities
Life expectancy: 74 years, 4 years below all races in the US. Alcohol dependency rates are three times higher than the national average, and almost twenty percent of deaths are related to alcohol. "Native Americans represent less than two percent of the US population but they make up eight percent of those who are homeless...It's estimated that up to 70 percent of Native Americans will suffer some sort of mental disorder during their lifetimes."
That's over 45,000 homeless Native Americans and 4 million more suffering from mental illness; people experiencing their own individual realities day in and day out. Considering the demographics, those numbers are extraordinarily anomalous.
There is a public health crisis plaguing Native American communities in our country. And there's not enough visibility for this epidemic. And not enough is being done to address it.

The Healing Circle as a Holistic Framework
As can be learned from a Native American healer, to heal profoundly, one must holistically integrate mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of being human.

Indigenous Identity & Mental Health
Indigenous peoples are those groups whose inhabitation of an area spans prior to its colonization by settler populations.
In the United States, indigenous peoples are commonly referred to as American Indians, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives, though many prefer to identify with their tribal nations and communities. These groups face a number of unique mental health difficulties that are rooted in the historical trauma and continued oppression their communities face.
This began with the colonization process that introduced settler societies to what is now the United States, inflicting mass violence on indigenous peoples to dispossess them of the land that, in many cases, is sacred to their worldview. Indigenous communities were forced onto reservations, typically inhabiting overpopulated land with little value and access to resources.

Get Ready For Back To School 2020 With MHA
Many children who return to school will be lonely, having been isolated for months. Many who remain at home will feel even lonelier and more isolated as they see members of their peer group out and about.  Loneliness can translate to poor sleep, high blood pressure, greater risk of suicidal ideation, and even alcohol and drug use. Depression, anxiety, and fear can also increase.
This is true for all age groups. It means this year, we all - parents, teachers, caregivers, students - need to attend to our mental wellbeing more consciously than ever before.
Mental Health America (MHA) developed its 2020 Back to School Toolkit with this and more in mind to help students, parents, and school personnel navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19.

Virtual Event

Friday, November 20, 2020 12:30 p.m. 
to 01:45 p.m. Pacific Time
 Supporting Indigenous Victims of Violence
The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center will present an online Expert Q&A discussion with Sarah Deer and Peggy Bird on "Supporting Indigenous Victims of Violence."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homicide is the third leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women between 0 and 24 years of age, and the fifth leading cause of death for AI/AN women between 25 and 34 years of age. Additionally, indigenous women are more likely than other women to experience sexual and physical violence. This session will address resources available to indigenous victims of violence.
Note: This session will be recorded and posted on the Expert Q&A Past Sessions tab when available.


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