Hispanic Communities and Mental Health

November 03, 2016

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, about one-third, or 17.9 million, of the nation’s Hispanic population is younger than 18, and about a quarter, or 14.6 million, of all Hispanics are Millennials (ages 18 to 33 in 2014). Despite these numbers, disparities in resources and treatment of mental health in Hispanic communities continue to prevail.

Although Latino youth are one of the fastest growing segments of our population, a parallel increase in knowledge about the different medical and mental health disorders that put Latino youth at risk for poor development, quality of life, and adult health is limited. Without efforts to understand how Latinos cope with mental disorders, what factors influence their access to mental health services, and how to deliver high quality mental health care to this population, Latinos will continue to suffer disproportionately from unmet mental health needs.

While discussions on the topic of mental health and well-being may seem like they have made their way into our everyday conversations, it remains a controversial issue in some communities, particularly the Hispanic community. Further, there is almost no literature on treatment preferences among minorities and their families, underscoring the importance of developing such a line of inquiry.

Despite these barriers, there are organizations and professionals in the field who are increasing our understanding of the existing barriers within this growing demographic. Among them is Born This Way Foundation’s Research Advisory Board, who has developed the Born Brave Experiences (BBE) survey.

The BBE is a series of studies focused on improving our understanding of the factors that influence youth engagement, mental health, and emotional well-being.

Now in its third year, studies conducted from the Born Brave Experiences survey have been presented locally at the University of Nebraska’s 2016 Bullying Prevention Conference and nationally at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention (2014, 2015, and 2016), the 2016 White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Convention (2015 and 2017).

This past August, impacto: New York ran a story highlighting the release of the Born Brave Experiences Survey, v 3.0 – Spanish, the first large-scale survey to examine the experiences and mental health of children and young Spanish speakers worldwide. The goals of the Born Brave Experiences Survey, v3.0 are to:

  • Increase access to improve youth mental, physical, and emotional health;
  • Study how to increase personal kindness and bravery;
  • Identify strategies to increase social and emotional learning in classrooms and community agencies that focus on youth wellness;
  • Investigate the mechanisms for better access to mental and emotional health resources for youth and young adults by linking community health agencies, schools, and university counseling centers

Born This Way Foundation is firmly grounded in research and the publication of our studies can help alleviate and forge a path towards a more accepting and understanding Hispanic community.

Through the analyses of surveys and research on the mental and physical experiences of the youth and young adult Hispanic population, we can help create a kinder and braver world for everyone.

By collecting data on the subject and helping to remove the stigma we can shed some light on the mental health and wellness of Hispanic youth and young adults.

If you know any English or Spanish-speaking youth and young adults, between the ages of 13 – 25, who would is interested in creating a kinder and braver world, visit https://bornthisway.foundation/born-brave-experiences-survey/ and have them take the Born Brave Experiences Survey, v3.0!