Native American Therapist Burr Ridge

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Native American Therapist Burr Ridge

According to Mental Health America, there are over 4 million Americans who identify themselves as having Native American or Alaska Native Heritage. Among that population, individuals report feeling serious psychological distress 2.5 times more than the general population over the course of a month. 

However, a 2017 report by the American Psychiatric Association found that the rate of mental health service utilization by Native Americans was low, likely due to factors such as the stigmatization of mental health, lack of culturally trained providers and lack of available services. Life Insight’s counselors and therapists in Burr Ridge offer services specially geared towards helping BIPOC individuals, including Native Americans. 

Diverse Cultural Experiences

There are currently 574 federally recognized tribal nations in the US. This includes over 200 languages, as well as diverse cultures, histories and traditions. Experts with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) write that among this wealth of diversity are some shared “cultural threads” between communities. These shared cultural experiences might include a close attachment to land and nature, connectedness with the past, traditions and strong family bonds. 

Many of these cultural aspects serve as Protective Factors for individuals. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines Protective Factors as “concepts that are key to the ‘cultural context, identity, adaptability, and perseverance” of Native American individuals. These may include strengths such as a holistic approach to life, family, a strong identification with culture, adaptability and an enduring spirit. 

Unique Challenges

According to NAMI, “Not all mental and behavioral health programs provide treatment in a culturally, spiritually and traditionally appropriate manner.” Indigenous/Native people may experience burdens such as economic and political marginalization, discrimination and unique mental health challenges that are rooted in a long history of trauma. Members of this community may also have a different understanding of mental health in general than most “Western” providers, meaning that extensive training can be necessary for a therapist or counselor to be culturally competent in traditional values and spirituality. 

Cultural competence from therapists is crucial to taking on these issues and providing specialized mental health care. Georgetown University defines cultural competence as “the ability of providers and organizations to effectively deliver health care services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of patients.” Our therapists and counselors in Burr Ridge understand that it is important to take the time to understand cultural values and their implications on mental healthcare in order to provide effective services. 

Reaching Out For Help

Whether you are exploring the impact of race and ethnicity on your lived experience or processing other aspects of your identity, our staff at Life Insight recognizes the need to feel affirmed, validated and supported. It’s important to feel safe to open up and be yourself while working through these issues, and finding the right therapist for you is the first step.

Native American individuals face a variety of unique challenges when it comes to getting therapy. Life Insight is dedicated to providing effective care for the mental health and wellness of every individual, and has therapists on staff who specialize in helping BIPOC clients. If you feel that you are in need of specialized mental health care, it may be time to reach out to one of our therapists in Burr Ridge today.

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