For many Native Americans, a history of trauma, poverty and other factors have made mental health issues a way of life. Native Americans are 1.5 times more likely to experience mental illness than the general population, and three times more likely to compound the problem with substance abuse. For Native Americans living in tribal communities, the situation is made worse by the fact that access to treatment is often hours away.
Micah Nickey knows firsthand the difficulties these communities face, and the role that telepsychiatry can play in helping to solve them. A Sicangu Lakota and an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, his extensive behavioral health background includes his role as behavioral health director for the Forest County Potawatomi Health and Wellness Center. It was during his time there that he was first exposed to Regroup, when the company was hired to provide telepsych services. Micah recently joined Regroup, where he felt he could have an even greater impact in delivering quality care to Native Americans across the country.
Here, Nickey discusses how telepsychiatry can help tribal populations access much-needed, high-quality mental health care, and how these communities can tailor care to their specific needs.