Suicide Prevention Week: Take Action, Speak Up for Latinos


latino boy stress sad teen

Latinos are a big focus of National Suicide Prevention Week on Sept. 10-16, 2017. Young Latinos are more likely than their peers to attempt suicide. High levels of stress, from discrimination, poverty and bullying, play a big role in this high percentage rate, according to our new Mental Health & Latino Kids Research. What can you do to help raise awareness and prevent suicide in your community? Start by knowing the signs. Here is a few examples of warning signs, according to the Mental Health America of Texas. Feeling hopeless. According to our research, 32.6% of Latino students reported feelings of hopelessness and sadness that continued for more than two weeks and resulted in decreased participation in activities they had previously enjoyed, a study found. ...

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Do Apps Like Instagram Hurt or Help Mental Health among Latinos?


social media

So many people share their lives on social media every day. Instagram has 500 million active monthly users worldwide, including 1 in 3 Latinos. Facebook has nearly 2 billion active monthly users. But questions remain about how social networks impact users' mental health. For example, CNN posted this week: "Instagram worst social media app for young people's mental health." The article cites a survey of 1,500 young people on how social media platforms impact their health, depression, anxiety, self-esteem and body image. The survey indicated Instagram negatively affected body image, sleep patterns, and "FOMO"—the fear of missing out. “Platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fueling a mental health crisis,” Shirley Cramer ...

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Spanish-Speaking Patients Looking for Someone to Talk To


latino doctor with patient

There is a shortage of mental health professionals in the United States. This situation is more severe for Latino and other minorities, who face barriers of language and culture that can make it hard to seek and get help, Pew Charitable Trusts reports. Take, for instance, Ana Paula Guerrero of Aurora, Ill. Guerrero says it makes it easier and better for her therapy if she doesn't have to translate her emotions from her native Spanish to her adopted English. "When I am talking about certain feelings in Spanish, it's (about) vocabulary and being able to gather the words to express yourself," Guerrero told the Daily Herald of Illinois for a report on language barriers to mental health care. "It's not the feeling itself, but the ability to communicate what you are ...

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Intervention Programs at London School Help Prevent Depression in Girls



A study conducted in London from 2010 to 2011 in a secondary girls-only state school found that the SPARK Resilience Program helped prevent depression and increase self-reported resilience in girls 11-12 years old. The study led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) looked at over 400 girls reports on their resilience and depression symptoms throughout the study. The SPARK Resilence Program gave students the tools to identify stressful situations and learn how to control negative behavior reactions. SPARK, the acronym behind the program stands for how children can break down their responses to stressful situations and be taught by teachers to their students using the five components: Situation, Perception, Autopilot, Reaction, and Knowledge. School interventions are a ...

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A Race To Support the Whole Person



In order to bring awareness on mental health and support "the whole person" including the emotional, mental and physical side of health, Madison YMCA is sponsoring "The Mind Matters 5K" on May 17th, 2017. The theme for the race is "Mentally Healthy One Stride at a Time", and proceeds from the race will go to benefit the Madison Area's YMCA's programs. YMCA President and CEO Diane Mann told local news Madison Eagle explained that the purpose behind the annual event is to help fund families and children to enjoy and participate in YMCA membership, programming, and wellness services. "As a cause-driven charitable organization, the Madison Area YMCA is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, and improving the community’s health and well-being and 'giving ...

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Mental Health Resources To Understand Mental Health in Teens & Kids



Kaiser Permanente wants to empower parents to talk to their kids about mental health. Finding the right ways to talk to your children about mental health is important because as many as 13% of children ages 8 to 15 experience a severe mental disorder at some point while growing up. In fact, many parents are unaware of the warning signs in kids or teens who are dealing with mental health issues. A few signs to look for include substance abuse, social isolation, behavior changes and more. Parents wanting to learn more about mental health like how to assess their child's mental health, and or how to talk to their child in a non-judgmental way about mental health can click here for more information on mental health. These resources are also in Spanish for Latino parents to talk ...

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Depression is Number One Cause of Poor Health in the World



Depression is an illness characterized by constant sadness and a loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys and it is also the number one reason for poor health, affecting over 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). With a growing youth Latino population in America dealing with depressive symptoms, this also brings a concern to higher rates of suicide, anxiety and other mental health issues for this at-risk population. In fact, research shows the prevalence of depressive symptoms among Latino youth is 22%, a rate higher than any other minority group besides Native American youth and Latina adolescents have the highest rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt compared to their peers. Common mental disorders are increasing ...

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Report: Latino Families Are Resilient, Tightly Knit, Stable



Already the largest and still-growing U.S. racial/ethnic minority, Latinos are a diverse people with distinct differences in origin, language use, and family characteristics. But what are the true Latino family dynamics? New research has confirmed what many already knew about Latino families: they are tightly-knit, resilient, and generally stable, according to a new report by the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. The report, La Familia: Latino Families Strong and Stable, Despite Limited Resources, is among the first to give the complete “breakdown” of Latino households, examining data about mothers, fathers, and children. It indicates, after analyzing data available through 2010, that "Latino families have many of the traits children need to ...

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Researchers Create Screening Tools for Mental Health Issues for Latino Kids


Sad child sitting on a window

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University recently identified a “culturally sensitive” set of tools that can be applied by pediatricians to help them screen Latino patients for mental health symptoms. Anxiety, depression, and aggression are some of the mental health issues that plague many Latinos and often go undiagnosed and untreated. The tools, which are freely available, and take less than 10 minutes to use are in Spanish and can help assess a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems among Latino kids. The investigators from Johns Hopkins encourage primary care pediatricians to consider utilizing four mental health screening tools: he Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC)-17-question version, the PSC-35-question version, the pictorial PSC-35, and the Strengths and ...

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Strict Immigration Policies Affect Latino Mental Health



Mental health is one of the most important issue in all of healthcare. Anxiety and depression are just two of the more common mental health issues that affect millions of people. In recent years, Latino mental health has become an issue focused on my health agencies across the country. A new study has found that certain policies may be exacerbating Latino mental health concerns American Latinos living in states with more “exclusionary” immigration policies report higher rates of “psychological distress” than those living in states with more liberal immigration laws. “Obviously, not all immigrants are Latinos, nor are all Latinos immigrants,” said a research team led by Mark Hatzenbuehler of Columbia University in the journal Social Science and Medicine. In order to ...

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