Youth and Education news
Volume 3, November 2011
Psychology students bring "much
needed" aid to Neb. reservations
Read the entire article: http://www.unogateway.com/
Condensed by Native Village
U.S/Canada Native Youth Crisis
Nebraska: Students from the University of Nebraska Omaha visited the Omaha and Winnebago reservations during National Depression Screening Day. UNO students helped with a depression inventory for students and senior citizens as part of a service-learning program.
"For me, service learning is really who I am," said Jessiline Anderson, the course instructor. Anderson has her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. "Serving in our community is a great way to give back to the community."
Depression can be a crippling mental health problem, and its effects are magnified in Native populations. According to Anderson's past research, 33% of Native adults on the two reservations suffer from depression.
The testing given by her U. Neb. students was "much needed," Anderson said.
Anderson's students handed out Beck Depression Inventories at the Omaha Nation Public School, Walthill School, and at the Blackhawk Community Center. The inventory has 21 multiple choice questions. Individuals filled out the inventory themselves, then UNO students measured depression severity.
"This is a problem in these communities," Anderson said. She attributes it to many issues including poverty, dysfunctional families and unemployment.
Donna Wolff is a suicide prevention speaker who lost her son to suicide. She stressed the importance of how screenings and prevention programs.
"The screenings are such a valuable tool to use to help show the schools how many kids are suffering from depression," Wolff said.
"Suicide and depression and mental illness are all topics that need to be talked about openly in our society now," Wolff said. "So many people are walking around with open wounds on the inside of their brains that no one can see. But they need professional medical help."
Annesha Mitra is a U. Neb senior double majoring in neuroscience and psychology. "It was just a little scary that kids around the ages of 11 to 17 could be that unhappy that they wanted to end their life," she said "It was just sad."
She also felt she and her classmates made a difference. "Even if it was just 2 or 3 lives that we were able to save, its still better than none," Mitra said. "And that makes me feel like we did something to make a difference."
Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth,
educators, families, and friends who wish to celebrate the rich,
diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples. We offer
readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and
Education News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites.
Each issue shares today's happenings in Indian country.