This participatory action research was designed to create guidelines and strategies to improve the delivery of mental health services to immigrants from Central and South America to the US. The demand for appropriate strategies for addressing the mental health needs of this population is increasing. This study recruited 17 traditional healers and their clients in the US and Peru to share their understanding of mental health needs, the conditions for which someone might seek treatment, and those aspects of traditional cosmology and practice that could inform modern approaches. The findings identified patterns of generational trauma still evident from colonialism, the need to respect the traditional worldview of immigrants in relation to diagnosis of mental distress, connection to nature and place, and the role of community and ancestors to the process of healing and recovery. Recommendations for practitioners to be a bridge between traditional and modern approaches to mental health are offered.
Immigrants, Mental Health, Cultural Competence, Colonialism, Participatory Action Research
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Recommended APA Citation
Lucana, S., & Elfers, J. (2020). Sacred Medicine: Indigenous Healing and Mental Health. The Qualitative Report, 25(12), 4482-4495. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2020.4626