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  • Writer's pictureNARS Administration

Talking Circles; Healing our Mental Health the Traditional Way

Updated: May 30

Healing our Mental Health;

The Traditional Way for the Month of May!

Join us in practicing community care for Mental Health Awareness Month! 

This May, our firm connected on how we use Talking Circles to support mental health in our respective Tribal communities. We want to share this community care method with you by providing tools for building a Talking Circle in your own community. For those who want to form Talking Circles in their own communities, we have included a Talking Circle lesson plan for your use. We honor the wisdom of all Tribes, past and present, whose teachings shape our Talking Circle knowledge. This knowledge, learned from Tribal leaders nationwide, is shared not as our own but as a service to the community, continuing a legacy of healing and connection.

Honoring Our Cultural Differences

Whether your traditions teach you to clean in sweat lodges or to clean in the healing waters of hot springs, our future generations will continue to depend on traditional methods of healing. We honor those healers who apply their ancestral knowledge and experience to help individuals in need of mental health guidance. While each Tribe has their own distinct methods of healing, we have witnessed the value that Talking Circles bring to our communities. Please consider how to incorporate your Tribe’s traditional practices into the Talking Circle curriculum. 

What is a Talking Circle?

A talking circle provides a safe space for each participant to express themselves without interruption. As we gather in these circles, each person's voice is valued equally, and everything shared remains confidential, fostering a trusting environment. This practice not only allows individuals to be heard but also to receive communal support and wisdom.

The Benefits of Inclusive Participation

The insights gained from these circles can be profound and, at times, can reveal unexpected truths that resonate deeply on spiritual, emotional, and mental levels. The process strengthens individual and collective well-being as participants draw on centuries-old traditions of dialogue and understanding. By including peers, family members, and Tribal elders, talking circles ensure a comprehensive perspective is maintained, enriching the dialogue and enhancing the learning experience. This inclusivity helps build a repository of communal knowledge that strengthens identity and connection among participants. Talking circles can also be used as a method of communicating in the workplace. 

Taking Action Traditional mental health practices empower Tribal communities. Supporting a Talking Circle can be one way toward reviving and preserving Tribal heritage, encouraging each generation to speak with sincerity and listen with empathy. Together, we can continue to heal and grow, anchored by the wisdom of our ancestors and the shared experiences of our community. To form a Talking Circle in your Tribal community, we’ve included a lesson plan.

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