Episode 94: A Look at the Mental Health Needs of Indigenous People in America

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 1:00 pm EDT

Indigenous people - Native Americans or Alaska Natives - make up nearly two percent of the U. S. population, and many have more than one ethnic identity. Indigenous people experience greater health problems with lower life expectancy, higher rates of substance abuse, and a suicide rate 2.5 times greater than the rest of the United States. Economic barriers and poor access to medical care, and cultural differences result in a higher prevalence of mental health conditions for Indigenous people.

In this episode of ADA Live!, we welcome Dr. Hilary Weaver, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Professor, University at Buffalo. Dr. Weaver is Lakota Sioux by birth. She will be interviewed by Olivia Gawehnidi Porter, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, student, and advocate for better mental health care in Indigenous nations. Their discussion will feature Dr. Weaver’s work understanding Indigenous teachings, how she is destigmatizing or removing the negative view that is often a part of Western ideas about disabilities, using traditional teachings of compassion and acceptance, and the importance of accepting people who are different.