Native Americans and Mental Health by Mazda

December 18, 2020

 

Native Americans and Mental Health

The issue that I am going to talk about is related to Native Americans and the mental health problems that they face. This is an issue that’s been around for quite a long time and it just seems to get worse and worse. Mental health is a very serious topic and it affects many people today. But Native Americans have been affected by this the most when compared to other race groups.

Mental health can be dangerous in many ways. For example, it can lead to suicides, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, trauma, and many other problems. And these problems can affect one’s life in a very negative way. According to Brady Hummel, (a writer and podcaster) “Suicide has achieved a tragic and heartbreaking frequency in Native communities, as it is 9 to 19 times more frequent for them than for other ethnic groups.” In other words, this quote is trying to say that many people face mental health problems. But amongst all of these people, Native Americans seem to be the ones affected by this the most. This is important because it shows that Native Americans aren’t treated the way they should be treated. And that if nothing happens, then these suicide rates will keep increasing.

There have been ways that people tried to address this issue. For example, the Indian Health Service has been trying to help Native Americans for quite a long time. The Indian Health Service is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, and its job is to provide health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. This service has been pretty successful because according to the IHS, “Currently, more than 50 percent of the mental health programs and more than 90 percent of the alcohol and substance abuse programs are Tribally operated.” Basically What this means is that there are many health services that are available to Native Americans around the U.S. This is really good because things such as suicide and substance abuse will decrease now that these services are available. But One way People can help to address this issue is by talking to others about this topic. This would raise awareness and more people will be informed about this issue. 

For me to get a better understanding of this topic, I would need to look at more websites. I would get a better understanding by doing this because different websites will include much new information that I didn’t know before. And not only that, but they can also have stats in them that I haven’t seen before. Another way that I can educate myself more about this topic is to maybe talk to someone who has gone through this themself. This would be useful because it can teach me about that person’s experience which would lead to me having a better understanding of this topic.

Sources:

Scholarly article on mental health

(NEW!) Fact sheet on behavioral health

(NEW!) Medium article about Native American mental health

https://www.youthvoices.live/native-americans-and-mental-health-2/