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On the most recent episode of Native Bidaské (Spotlight), Native News Online Publisher and Editor Levi Rickert welcomed Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., M.B.A., and Shauna Humphreys, M.S., L.P.C. 

Hernandez (Cherokee) and Humphreys (Choctaw) are co-hosts on the Black Feathers podcast that focuses on Native American experiences with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health, anxiety disorders, and healthcare access.

The Black Feathers podcast is a product of the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Ongoing Longitudinal Data Project of National Significance and produced with support from the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD), a part of the KU Life Span Institute. You can find out more about Black Feathers Podcast here.

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How did the podcast get named Black Feathers?

“My grandma was always really significant in my life. And she passed a long time ago, but I always see feathers around to remind me she's here. And for me, it's kind of the same for her, you know, when you see it, you're not alone. This is a journey, just like a disability journey. You're not alone. There's an army of individuals who will rally with you and fight the fight and get the things and make sure that you know, you feel supported and make sure those things for you, and give you that sense of belonging. And so it was really easy to come up with that for me. And once I said it, you know, it just kind of made sense. So here's what we're going to, black feathers, we're never going to be alone on the journey.” - Dr. Crystal Hernandez

What would you tell someone trying to overcome the stigma of mental health?

“You're not alone. And that, you know, everybody struggles from time to time, but I think in native communities, seeking help has somehow become a sign of weakness. When really, it's a sign of wisdom. I think, changing that perspective, and to continue talking about it, continue talking about your struggles, that opens the door for people to want to seek help and to know that they're not alone.” - Shauna Humphreys

Watch the full episode below.

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The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online. 
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