UNITY Peer Guides – UNITY, Inc.

 Let’s Talk About Healing Our Communities: LIVE Discussions

The UNITY Peer Guides will host a live discussion on what it means to “be a Good Relative” and how we can identify our community needs. Native youth, young leaders and youth advocates will discuss how to increase community safety through a holistic approach and announcements for upcoming Spring trainings.

Join the UNITY Peer Guides on Friday, February 26th:
Instagram LIVE on the the Peer Guide Instagram at 2:30pm PST//4:30pm EST
Facebook LIVE on Monday, March 1st 
on UNITY’s Facebook Page at 5:30pm PST//8:30pm EST

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I would be lost without my culture

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Natane Pelkey, Cheyenne and Arapaho

By sharing my experience of getting through hard times and my mental health struggles, I can help other native youth who may be going through similar situations. I was put into the Child Services when I was young. It honestly is a struggle to talk about it even to this day. Growing up without parents can be very hard. Around 9 years old, my sister and I were taken away from our mother in Oklahoma after we moved to escape my father’s abuse in Iowa. We were placed with our grandparents who helped shape who I am today. #NativeYouthVoices

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My healing journey: UNITY Alaskan Native youth

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Korbin Storms, Native Village of Unalakleet, Alaska

I would tell Native Youth that struggle to see themselves as leaders that they have resiliency in their DNA, that sometimes it takes someone who has been low and lost before to connect to others that are feeling that way, that they have a unique perspective and so much potential to enact change and that the best leaders are those that give hope to others. The challenge I am most proud of overcoming in my lifetime is learning that although I have a relationship with mental illness it is not define who I am. I am so much more than my depression. That, perhaps most importantly, I could be a good mother despite my illness.

If you are putting yourself into a leadership role that focuses on healing oneself, you must show character and be transparent.  #NativeYouthVoices

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When I learned to love the desert, I learned to love myself

UNITY Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Damien Carlos
My whole life until I was fifteen, I didn’t know much of anything about my culture besides the fact that I belonged to the Tohono O’odham tribe. I knew nothing about where I came from. I went to schools on and off the reservation. My family dealt with alcoholism. I was in a dark place for a long time. When I was fifteen I moved back to the reservation and found people that were willing to take me places to learn about my culture. I learned songs, stories, and helped in ceremonies. I haven’t looked back since. When I learned to love the Tohono (Desert), I learned to love myself. For the last two years, I’ve been working with other youth from my community that have stories similar to mine to create a program to create opportunities for more youth to experience and learn out culture. I believe my culture saved my life and can help many more kids. Read More

Power of Empathy in Native Youth Leadership

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Kyleigh Shipman 

In my early childhood, I witnessed close relatives struggling with substance abuse. After speaking with them, I have come to the understanding that these are battles in which a person begins to lose control. This has had a major impact on my life, and I had to learn how to handle situations that include substance abuse and alcoholism at a very young age. I learned that letting a person know that people are supporting them and assisting them in whatever they need. Learning empathy for others has shaped my leadership. These struggles with incarceration and generational addictions have made me stronger and a better helper for my people.
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UNITY Peer Guides Announce Raffle Winners

Congrats to the following winners from the HILI Native Youth Town Hall Raffle. Each person who gave their feedback in one of the four regional Town Halls or written survey were entered to win an Apple Ipad for their time. The UNITY Peer Guides are looking forward to working with everyone in 2021! Thank you to all who participated:

  • Eastern Regional winner: Wiliam from Bridgeton, NJ
  • Central Regional winner: Shawndae from Camp Verde, OK
  • Mountain Regional winner:  Glenda from Farmington, NM
  • Pacific Regional winner: Elizabeth from Roseburg, OR

Before a Mental Health Crisis: Creating a Family Safety Plan

If you’re like most of us, you or someone close to you experiences mental health challenges. The added stresses of the pandemic, as well as seasonal and holiday effects, may exacerbate those challenges. One way of supporting our loved ones who experience these challenges is to develop a safety plan ahead of time, during periods when they are stable and able to contribute to the plan. If this sounds like something that might be of use to you or the families you work with, consider downloading and reviewing “Before a Mental Health Crisis Hits: Creating a Family Safety Plan.”

This resource, developed by the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research, functions as a “playbook” that can help us minimize or re-direct a mental health crisis after its onset. Think of a safety plan as a prevention tool similar to a car’s seatbelt: it cannot prevent a mental health crisis, but it can prevent the crisis from becoming catastrophic.

Building Community Support for Youth Councils

UNITY Advisors recently gathered for an interactive virtual session to discuss Building Community Support for Youth Councils as part of the UNITY Fall Webinar Series – Adult Track led by guest presenters, Eileen Crocker, White Mountain Apache and Vance Home Gun, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Read More

Native Youth are Medicine Native Youth Report

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the CNAY at the Aspen Institute will release the 5th Annual State of Native Youth Report on November 24, 2020. The theme of this year’s report is Native Youth are Medicine – highlighting the strength and resilience of Native youth. “The best advice was given by a man named Joseph Marshall – when you know the story about injustice, you have the responsibility. The injustice that has occurred for far too long with those who were here at the start of America has to stop” said Sen. Byron Dorgan. Watch and learn how UNITY Youth Councils can address the needs of our communities found in this report. Explore more resources under the Opportunity Tab at www.unityinc.org Read More

NEW STATE OF MIND: YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH GUIDE

A first-of-its kind mental health guide created for students, by students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Text saying: "New State of Mind: Youth Mental Health Guide" on top of a black and green gradient background.

Young Americans are more stressed out than ever, and nearly half of Gen Z says they aren’t doing enough to manage stress. Young people could use some mental health support in 2020, especially with COVID-19 affecting over 55 million students in the US and millions more around the world. Through DoSomething’s New State of Mind campaign, powered by Blue Shield California as a part of the BlueSky Initative, thousands of young people submitted tips on how they’re getting through these especially tough times. We received 74,129 responses from DoSomething members, and we used them to create this first-of-its-kind crowdsourced mental health guide that’s for students, by students.

Check out their tips below on practicing self-care, dealing with the stress of digital learning, and supporting the mental health of those around you. (Plus, check out some additional resources at the bottom of this page.) And remember: the road to a healthier and happier generation starts right now with us.

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