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Mental Illness Awareness Week: Meet Latinx Professionals Who Understand How You Feel

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I have worked with the same therapist for nearly a decade but I only became open about that fact in the past year. As conversations surrounding mental health become more normalized, the reality of how many are affected is revealed.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness this year. While the Latinx community is equally susceptible as the general population, access to quality treatment is significantly less causing more severe and persistent conditions. More recently, studies indicated that stress and anxiety has increased for Latinos in America under the Trump administration. 

Whether you are one of the millions of Americans personally affected or you have a family member, friend, or partner who is, awareness is key. The biggest obstacle to treatment is the lack of information, misunderstanding symptoms, and stigma. Latinx patients most commonly suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide among youth but we’re not talking about it. 

Doctors observe that culture does play a role in the perpetuation of dysfunction and systemic inequity makes healing more challenging for multicultural communities. Research confirmed a lack of cultural competence in mental health care which often results in misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment.

Mental health is deeply personal and should, therefore, be as customized as possible. A cultural connection could help satisfy your specific needs. Grassroots initiatives have emerged online to address the necessity for access, education, and resources in the Latinx community. 

Check out these free guides to treatment and two Latinas who are leading the way to health, empowerment and advocacy. 

Brandie Carlos: Founder of Therapy for Latinx, Mental Health Advocate and Writer

Therapy for Latinx leverages technology to serve as a national mental health resource for the Latinx community by working with licensed therapists across the country. They provide resources for the community to heal, thrive, and become advocates for their own mental health. Therapy for Latinx uses the latest technology to make it as easy as possible for people to find therapists, life coaches, emergency mental health centers, and free/low costs community clinics.

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What do I mean? This is not talking about ethics or safety. This is around what feels right for you.⠀ ⠀ For those going to therapy for the first time we’ve gathered what therapy is “supposed” to be from the media. Which can look like uncontrollable crying, always having a breakthrough, realizing the root cause of trauma in one session, it can look easy and graceful. While these things can happen for some people it’s not always the case. ⠀ ⠀ Some days in therapy you won’t cry at all.⠀ Some days in therapy you’ll cry the whole session and for days following.⠀ Some days in therapy you will feel nothing. Your body will disassociate and not allow you to tap in to deeper feelings and that is ok. ⠀ ⠀ You showed up for yourself. ⠀ ⠀ This is your body’s ways of protecting you. If there is something really traumatic that happened to you it might take time for you to feel comfortable enough to talk about it even with your therapist. That’s ok. Some days you’ll want to cancel your session all together. Going to therapy is kind of like going to the gym, getting there can feel dreadful but you usually feel glad you went afterwards. ⠀ ⠀ So do your best to show up and be compassionate with yourself as far as how you feel during and post session. Something that has supported me has been journaling after my therapy session about how I felt, what I learned, and perhaps things I didn’t get a chance to bring up that I would like to discuss in my next session.⠀ ⠀ #therapy #firsttimeintherapy #therapynewbies #destigmatizingtherapy #mentahealth

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Adriana Alejandre: founder of Latinx Therapy, Social Impact Entrepreneur and EMDR Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Latinx Therapy is a digital platform which launched in the form of a podcast about mental wellbeing and destigmatization in the Latinx community. Immediately following the first episode, Adriana received recognition from Apple, iTunes and dozens asking for referrals to Latinx therapists. The mission to connect the underserved to culturally sensitive mental health practitioners was achieved.

Adriana created a Google Map of therapists within her network of Latinx mental health professionals and used this customized tool to help connect people to therapists in their states. The demand has been high from inception and continues to increase rapidly. Latinx Therapy has expanded to be a trusted national, bilingual resource for the Latinx community. Click here to find out more.

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I am so thrilled to have been invited to be on @tamarindopodcast – this podcast was one of the 3 podcasts that inspired me to launch mine. Find this episode on all podcatchers! You don’t want to miss it 🔥#latinxtherapy #Repost @tamarindopodcast – – – – – – Have you heard our latest episode yet?? Badass founder of #Latinxtherapy, trauma Psychotherapist, Adriana Alejandre was dropping gems! 💎 Particularly in light of the traumatic events that have wrecked our communities, it is so important that we prioritize our well being right now. It is equally important that we remember that despite the messages we’re hearing, WE BELONG in ALL spaces. Thank you to Adriana and ANYONE that is working to provide mental health access and resources for our communities. Your work is so important 🙌🏽 Now, go LISTEN! 👂🏽 #WeBelong #LinkinBio #mujerespoderosas #SupportLatinxPodcasts #mentalhealth #latinxmentalhealth #trauma #latinxtherapists #latinxtherapy #affirmations #mindfulness #tamarindopodcast #calmamoment

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Jessica Hoppe

Jessica Hoppe is a New York-based writer and social media strategist who founded her blog, Nueva Yorka, in 2015. She has been featured in Vogue, Yahoo, HuffPost, PopSugar, Who What Wear, Ravishly and worked as Lifestyle Editor for StyleCaster. Jessica has been passionate about writing, diversity and Latin American culture from an early age. Having grown up in a Spanish speaking home, her father is Ecuadorian and her mother is from Honduras. She is now based in New York City.

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