Trump’s Controversial Citizenship Plans for DREAMers

The White House has proposed changing immigration policy to allow citizenship for up to 1.8 million young people brought into the U.S. as children—in addition to a $25 billion border wall and other security measures, USA Today reports. The proposed bill would blaze a path to citizenship for DREAMers, undocument immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DREAMers have been in limbo since the Trump Administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created by the Obama Administration to allow undocumented children brought to the U.S. to remain here. The bill, which will be introduced to the House and Senate in the coming weeks, would for the first time provide a clear path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants that ...

Read More

Fred Cardenas: Improving Mental Healthcare for Kids in San Antonio

"I hear demons telling me to be bad." "I need my medicine to calm down." "Mom has a new boyfriend, but that’s okay cause dad has a new girlfriend." Fred Cardenas has heard these statements from kids ages 6 and younger who suffer mental health issues. Cardenas, who has spent 30 years in early childhood services in San Antonio (68% Latino), said overwhelmed parents and stressed teachers struggle to deal with these kids. Health workers too often look for a psychiatric diagnosis to medicate. He wanted to help parents, teachers, and health workers look more at the context and relationships experienced by the kids. So Cardenas helped build a program—Early Childhood Well Being (ECWB) at Family Service Association of San Antonio. ECWB intervenes early for kids ages 0-8 ...

Read More

What’s a Great New Year’s Resolution? Addressing Mental Health for Latinos

New Year’s resolutions are a tradition that many people engage in every year. Some resolve to address physical health – to eat better, to lose some weight, to exercise more – and these are all great. However, one aspect of health often gets completely overlooked during this time of year. Mental health affects millions of people across the country, but more often than not goes unaddressed. Latinos – especially young Latinos – are statistically more likely to have mental health issues than their peers and they are far less likely to seek treatment. Lack of access to resources, cultural stigma, and language barriers are all key reasons why Latino mental health often goes untreated. In an effort to reverse this situation, Kaiser Permanente has launched a website entitled ...

Read More

Group Teaches Therapists ‘Latino Culture’ to Improve Mental Health Care

Liz Franklin made an important discovery about mental healthcare for the Latino population in her years as school therapist at Washburn Center for Children in Hennepin County (6.9% Latino), Minn. Speaking Spanish is good—but it's not enough to understand Latinos' thoughts and situations. "You won’t get everything right if you just translate things literally," Franklin told the MinnPost. "You have to understand the deeper meanings, and to do that takes time and a lot of communication." That's why Franklin decided to help. She created a consortium of more than 80 Spanish-speaking therapists, doctors, and other mental healthcare providers to share more about the Latino culture and the issues that this population faces. Latinos and Mental Health Latinos are less likely ...

Read More

Researchers Get $2.7 Million to Study Stress in Latino Babies, Parents

Latina mom with baby stress frustrated despression

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, are investigating the unique, daily challenges and stresses that affect young Latino parents and babies in California, thanks to $2.7 million from the National Institutes of Health. The so-called "California Babies Project" aims to understand how difficult circumstances impact these families. Study leader Leah Hibel and her team will periodically assess stress hormones and chart the emotions of 250 families of Mexican origin in the Sacramento area, according to a news release. "We want to better understand how stress affects daily parent-child interactions," Hibel said, "and how that influences a child’s physical and mental health and school readiness." The Big Reason for This Study California is 39% Latino, mostly of ...

Read More

Study: Undocumented Immigrants Are at Big Risk of Mental Health Disorders

Silhouette of a refugees family with children immigrant

Being Latino in America can be stressful. Being a Latino immigrant can be even more stressful, with daily struggles of discrimination, fear of deportation, and cultural identity that can affect your mental health. A new study led by Luz Garcini, postdoctoral fellow at Rice University, looked into the mental health of undocumented immigrants living near the border in California (38.9% Latino). Garcini, just like her research participants, fled violence from her native country Mexico, to come to the United States. Luz learned though that not all immigrants are fortunate. The work that Garcini has done is the first of its kind to prove the prevalence showing extremely high rates of mental illness among undocumented people versus the U.S population. Study Findings Garcini and ...

Read More

Report: Teens Often Are Their Own Cyberbully

Most people know about cyberbullying these days. Continual cyberbullying online and through social media platforms can cause and/or increase depression, anxiety, low self-esteem among children, and Latinos especially struggle with bullying and discrimination. Texas even has David’s Law to criminalize and prevent cyberbullying. But, sadly, there's a new wave of cyberbullying that's harming teens' mental health: digital self-harm or “self-cyberbullying.” Cyberbullying’s New Victims Self-cyberbullying is when kids anonymously post hurtful messages about themselves online and on social media. In a first-ever study of its kind, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Cyberbullying Research Center asked 5,600 U.S. high school students from across the country about ...

Read More

New Mexico Schools Give Sleepy Students a High-Tech Nap

Nap clubs. Quiet rooms. Wellness centers with cozy couches and tea. Schools are trying new ways to give rest to sleepy students, including Latinos who are more sleep-deprived than their peers. That includes high-tech "nap pods" for students in two high schools in Las Cruces (59.6% Latino) and two in Sunland Park (95.2% Latino), N.M. Students sit in the pods, available in the nurse's office, under a sensory-reduction dome that plays relaxing music and soothing lights for 20 minutes before gently vibrating to wake the students. "[It is] great for kids who weren’t getting enough sleep at night—which teenagers don’t, for a variety of reasons," Sandy Peugh, health services director for the Las Cruces school district, told Las Cruces Sun-News. "They were coming to school ...

Read More

The Dire Impact of Childhood Obesity on Mental Health

obese overweight latino girl sad mental health

You probably know obesity is bad for a child's health. But did you know obesity takes a toll on children's minds, too? An overweight or obese child has three times the risk for depression in adulthood as a normal-weight child. Risk rises four times for children who are overweight or obese in both childhood and adulthood, according to a new study, CBS News reports. Sadly, Latinos suffer high rates of both obesity and mental health conditions. That is why knowing the facts—and having the resources available can alter the effects of obesity on mental health—can lead child to a healthy lifestyle. The Facts on Obesity Childhood obesity is defined as a diagnosis for any child (same sex and age) "with a Body Mass Index at or above the 95th percentile", according to the Center ...

Read More