State effort seeks to counter mental health problems worsened by pandemic | Local news

“It is difficult for them to accept that something is happening with their mental health,” she said.

The Hispanic community also has a tendency to prioritize work, and other tasks over caring for their health, whether it’s their physical or mental health, Garcia said.

According to NAMI, “Latinx and Hispanic communities show similar vulnerability to mental illness as the white population, however, they face disparities in both access to and the quality of treatment.”

Nationally, about 33% of Hispanic of Latinx adults receive treatment for mental illness annually, compared to the U.S. average of 43%, the NAMI website says.

Latinx and Hispanic communities face language barriers, are less likely to have health insurance and a lack of cultural competence within the medical field may cause misdiagnosis, according to NAMI.

“For instance, they may describe their symptoms of depression as ‘nervios’ (nervousness), tiredness or as a physical ailment. These symptoms are consistent with depression, but doctors who are not trained in how culture influences a person’s interpretation of their symptoms may assume it’s a different issue,” the website says.

Legal status for undocumented immigrants and the stigma associated with mental health illness are also barriers.

“Unpacking years of historical trauma”

Alyssa, who asked that only her first name be used in this story, struggled with that stigma when she decided to seek therapy and told her mother about it.

She works for the University of Arizona in the health and wellness field and helps others with access to health care, insurance and substance abuse services.

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