September 15 to October 15 is celebrated nationwide as National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month—a month to honor the cultures and contributions of Hispanic/Latinx heritage and celebrate the independence of several Latin American countries. It is also important to give attention to the mental health of this community.

For the Hispanic/Latinx community, mental health and mental illnesses may be stigmatized topics as it faces unique institutional and systematic barriers that complicate access to services. These include cultural misunderstandings, lack of information/services in Spanish (and other languages spoken in the community), or lack of access to insurance. Additionally, we must remember to consider how multiple identities interact that factor into the mental health of an individual (i.e. sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, etc.). Here are some facts:

  1. There is a perception in Latinx/Hispanic communities, especially among older people, that discussing problems with mental health can create embarrassment and shame for the family, resulting in fewer people seeking treatment. 
  2. Bilingual patients are evaluated differently when evaluated in English versus Spanish, and Latinx/Hispanic people are more frequently undertreated than whites.
  3. 18% percent of Latinx/Hispanic people in the U.S. do not have health insurance, with those of Honduran and Guatemalan origin having the highest rates of being uninsured (35 percent and 33 percent respectively)

For more facts, information, and resources, you can see the links below.

A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generatedResources (not an exhaustive list):

*Hispanic refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a Spanish-speaking country

*Latino/a/x refers to a person who is from, or a descendance of someone who is from, a country in Latin America. Latinx also aims to include individuals who do not identify within the gender binary.

For more information, visit these links: Latinx; Hispanic vs Latino/a/x