In June of 2020, 40% of adults in the U.S. reported struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues. The CDC suggests using community-level prevention and intervention efforts to address mental-health issues, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. NAC believes that spirituality and culture are essential to growth and healing. This National Mental Health Month, Native American Connections shares its approach to addressing community mental health issues.
In June of 2020, 40 percent of adults in the United States reported struggling with mental health or substance use issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests using community-level intervention and prevention efforts to address mental-health conditions, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Native American Connections (NAC) believes that culture and spirituality are essential to healing. This National Mental Health Month, NAC shares its approach to addressing community mental health issues.
“Mental health is essential for a person’s overall health. For generations, practices like talking circle, sweat lodge, songs and drumming have been used for purification and healing,” said Diana Yazzie Devine, CEO of Native American Connections. “At Native American Connections, these traditional healing ceremonies are interwoven with research-based practices for a holistic approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit.”
For NAC, holistic wellness, trauma-informed care, family healing, and 12-step programs are essential to recovery and treatment. “Talking Circle is a place for resolving trauma, and gives people the chance to speak heart-truth without interruption, criticism, or judgment,” said Yazzie. “The methodical sound of the drumming, the melody of a traditional song, the purifying smoke from smudging – all of these can be grounding, and put people in a calming state of mind to begin healing.”
Addressing mental health is the cornerstone for treating other co-occurring issues, such as substance use. Discovering and treating the root cause of an individual’s trauma is the first step on the path to healing the whole person. NAC believes that combining Native traditional healing practices and cultural arts with an evidence-based curriculum for addiction and substance use treatment is the best strategy for long-term recovery. Learn more about NAC's services and incorporation of traditional healing practices.
If you're struggling with maintaining your mental health, you are not alone. We all deserve the opportunity to address our mental health with the necessary resources and support. Check out more information on supporting your mental health at NAMI.org and take time to check in with the state of your mental health. Remember to reach out to your support system and treat yourself with kindness.
Find more information on outpatient, residential, and young adult recovery services here. Members of tribal communities interested in developing a referral program for substance use disorder treatment may call us at 602-254-3247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.