While I was growing up, mental health was never brought up in any discussions with my parents.
As a part of the Latinx community, that was the norm for my parents and their parents and so on. Like Annelise mentions above, Latinx parents “don’t really show their emotions.” She felt that because of the lack of visible emotions, it was hard for her to feel free enough to share her own. There is still no quantifiable way of measuring how relatable that is because for a very long time I thought what I was feeling and going through was normal. It wasn’t until college that what I was feeling was diagnosed as depression. Whenever tough times came about I simply isolated myself further which only allowed the feelings to brew.
“One of the main ways that people tend to find their way into therapy is through their primary care physician,” Dr. Mariel Buque said.
Finding the right resources for ourselves is incredibly important. Through Brandie Carlos’ Therapy for Latinx website we get a growing list of therapists and other resources that can help our community, who are also part of our community. It’s professionals like Dr. Mariel Buqu who help our community break through intergenerational trauma and continue to help us connect with our elders to start the ongoing conversation that is mental health. And if it weren’t for young people like Greisy Hernandez, there wouldn’t be nearly as many young people who are willing to connect and grow and help each other out. This talk was deeply soothing to me because sharing stories is how we heal. Knowing that we aren’t alone even in our toughest times grants a special type of relief.
I find that even when younger generations finally breakthrough and decide that they do want to work on their mental health, it’s hard for them to find access to it. Whether it’s a language barrier, which Brandie helpfully added that you can “filter your searches for Spanish speaking therapists,” or simply not knowing where to look, the helpful resource lists provided on Therapy for Latinx or Born This Way Foundation’s resources page can help us get connected to a multitude of different services that are available to us.
To kindly insert myself into the conversation above: Mental health, to me, looks like finding the right groups of people to share stories with. It’s trying your best to be mindful of how you are feeling throughout the day and not judging yourself for the things you feel. For a long time, I have judged myself harshly for feeling certain things during the day, when in actuality feeling is a part of life and should be validated by you first and then others around you.
By cultivating an environment of acceptance and kindness for ourselves we can later create that environment for others.