Latinos and the Mental Health Crisis
The national mental health crisis is hitting the Latinx community particularly hard. Longstanding factors affecting mental health and barriers to care put Latinos disproportionately at risk. According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation:
- 46% of Hispanic adults reported anxiety or depression symptoms between 2019 and 2020.
- Latinos experienced one of the highest increases in suicide death rates from 2010 to 2020 at 27%, more than twice the increase among non-Hispanic whites.
As policymakers act to address the country’s mental health crisis, new policies should account for the drivers and barriers most impacting Latinos to meaningfully reduce health inequities. For example, Latinos have suffered higher COVID-19 death rates due to overrepresentation in frontline work. And economic hardship has been exacerbated by the pandemic, leading to higher rates of stress among Hispanic adults related to food insecurity or lack of stable housing.
Nationally, the lack of community-informed research poses challenges to developing culturally relevant interventions and programs for Latinos; policymakers must understand the needs of our community as well as identify and invest in effective mental health models.
Thanks to support from donors like you, UnidosUS is undertaking advocacy and policy efforts, such as offering recommendations to school districts, urging the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to enforce existing laws on gender and race discrimination, and sharing tips like these to help parents and caregivers build mental wellness in their children:
- In English: unidosus.org/publications/4-tips-for-building-mental-wellness-in-young-children/
- In Spanish: unidosus.org/publications/4-consejos-para-desarrollar-el-bienestar-mental-en-ninos-pequenos/
With your ongoing commitment, UnidosUS is exploring the obstacles Latinos face in accessing mental health care and assessing policy recommendations for alleviating the inequities our community experiences to ensure that policymakers substantively address the mental health crisis.