Latine communities report mental health conditions at similar rates when compared to the general population, but face disparities in access to and quality of treatment.
While some doctors in the U.S. speak Spanish, not all do. This language barrier may contribute to the treatment gap observed in Latine individuals. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 5.5 percent of providers reported being able to administer care in Spanish.
In addition to Spanish, some Latine individuals speak a dialect, such as Quechua or Nahuatl.
For immigrants who arrive without documentation, the fear of deportation can prevent them from seeking care.
Like other communities, Latine communities suffer from the stigma around mental health conditions. Many individuals value privacy and may forgo care for fear of being labeled “crazy.”
Latine individuals and first-generation immigrants from regions affected by conflict may experience trauma.
This trauma can happen before, during, or after the migration process is complete. Having to leave one’s country, home, family, or friends, because of violence or other sociopolitical conflicts can have a negative effect on one’s mental health. The migration process might also be traumatic, leading to a heightened risk of depression or PTSD. Experiencing discrimination or lack of socioeconomic security once arriving in a new country can also lead to mental health problems.
Regardless of immigration status, Latine individuals also experience discrimination or harassment because of their race, which can also negatively impact mental health.
- Evidence points to anxiety as a common mental health condition among the Latine community. Some research suggests anxiety is more prevalent in people of Puerto Rican background. Factors such as age, education, and relationship status can also affect anxiety diagnoses. (National Library of Medicine)
- This 2018 study suggests Latine people are significantly more likely to experience serious depression than their white counterparts. (Preventative Medicine)
- The COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate mental health impact on Latine individuals, who reported higher rates of depression and worry about not having stable housing or enough food. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
DBSA Support Groups
DBSA support groups give people living with depression and bipolar disorder a safe, welcoming place to share experiences, discuss coping skills, and offer each other hope.
People who live with mood disorders can more readily achieve wellness when they recognize the symptoms and understand the issues related to this spectrum of conditions.
Each person’s wellness journey is unique. With that in mind, DBSA has developed tools to help you take the first steps and to determine what support you may need along the way.
Find a Therapist
If you’re thinking about starting therapy, mapping out your wellness goals and values can help you find the right therapist for you.