20 Under 40: Teri Yazzie, Youth Psychotherapist, Native Americans for Community Action |

What excites you about your work, what do you enjoy?

My collective realities have had a huge impact on shaping my worldview and how I can help bring about change, especially in the communities in which I was raised, also widely known as ” Ground”. My ability to connect and use my experiences gained through many dire and joyful situations gives me a vantage point, where I can give a first-hand account that can highlight the inequalities not only in my homeland, but in other countries. other places with similar socio-economic conditions. This body of work also adds to my understanding of a fractured false social justice system in my home country, particularly the injustices my people continue to suffer. From childhood, I learned that helping others can start with one person and grow exponentially from there.

What was your career path like?

I have been on my mental health field journey for 10 years. I had the good fortune to have held various positions, notably in the field in suicide prevention and in individual and family therapy. Along the way, I earned an advanced degree in social work.

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My personal introduction to this work was primarily by circumstance and not by choice. The circumstances I speak of are those that I had to endure as a child and have continued in my life as a constantly developing, growing and learning human being. With the many negative outcomes and conditions I experienced and observed as a child, and I continue to see that as a mother, it was a clear choice for me to address the various issues within societal institutions.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Appointed Chair of the NASW Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (AOTD) Specialty; member of the Arizona State Tribal Advisory Committee; Member of the Working Group on Unprotected Indigenous Parents; A professional with a license in social work (LMSW).

What do you do outside of work?

Being a full-time mother, music, reading, concerts, traveling, baking, hiking, physical fitness, my son’s sports activities, cultural activities, spending time with my family and above all, reinvesting in myself and meeting my personal challenges, mental la health and physical well-being. The latter is very important because for me to serve my people, my own well-being is a priority.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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