Altamonte Springs, Florida, January 30, 2009 — An inter-tribal team of Avatar Masters is using The ReSurfacing® Workshop to restore hope to American Indian youth. The consciousness training helps young people to identify the beliefs and attitudes that are the forward causes of life-long problems.
According to Stephanie Autumn, a member of the Hopi Nation and Director of a Tribal Youth Program, “Even though American Indian youth are a small part of the U.S. population, they experience mental health and substance abuse problems at an alarming rate—suicide, alcohol, and drug abuse are all extremely prevalent issues among American Indian youth.”
The Surgeon General and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that suicide is the second leading cause of death for American Indian youth age 15-24. The suicide rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives is more than twice the national average for other groups.
American Indian adolescents have been found to be more likely than other adolescents to be diagnosed with AD/HD, substance abuse, or substance dependence disorders. All of this occurs in some of the most isolated settings in this country—places that lack access to the educational, economic, and social resources that most of us have come to expect. But even without the access problems other barriers exist. Mental health issues are rarely discussed in many tribes—there are strong feelings of shame that prevents people from talking openly about these issues.
Concerned tribal leaders, who recently completed the Avatar Course, recognized the power of the ReSurfacing Section of the course to help with their youth problem. After many meetings, it was decided that they would share ReSurfacing with the people who could provide new role models to their generation. The ultimate goal is to improve the health and spirit of all the young people who live on the reservation.
A team of ten Avatar® Masters, licensed to deliver the workshop, came from across the United States to participate in the first public health and epidemiology summer camp for American Indian youth. They stayed at the campsite, teaching and coaching the students through the workshop exercises. The first group of twenty youths and eight adults spent four days practicing the exercises from the ReSurfacing Workshop.
The consciousness training in the ReSurfacing Workshop was successful in helping these leaders of tomorrow understand their own life experiences. According to Chris Gray, Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center, who hosted the summer camp, “There was overwhelming positive youth evaluations. They were enthusiastic about this workshop. They were very fast in understanding and completing the exercises and everyone enjoyed the experience.”
Developed in 1986, the Avatar Training is delivered in 20 languages and is taught by licensed Avatar Masters in 71 countries. Graduates report reduced stress, increases in personal happiness, and greater success in reaching their goals. Newsletter at http://www.theavatartimes.com
For additional information on Avatar Training, visit http://www.theavatarcourse.com
ABOUT STAR'S EDGE INTERNATIONAL - Star's Edge International publishes books, videos, online materials, and a series of experiential courses that guide people into and through transformative experiences. The company was founded in 1986 and operates worldwide. Avatar® and Star’s Edge International® are registered trademarks of Star's Edge, Inc.