According to the National Suicide Prevention Resource Center Hispanic and Latino communities have a low rate of suicide, even amount all racial/ethnic groups in the United States. This is a diverse group, which includes immigrants from Mexico and other former Spanish colonies, as well as people from countries in Latin America, such as Brazil or Suriname.
In a CNN article, Dr. Neha Chaudhary says, "preventing suicide and addressing mental health for children and teens is everyone's responsibility." Dr. Chaudary has worked as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Further, according to national data, 1 in 4 teen girls and 1 in 10 teen boys in the Latino community has had suicidal thoughts. Talking about suicide is a challenge in some Latino communities, where mental health can be a taboo topic. Some Latino youth may feel caught between cultures, say experts, which could lead them to isolated.
In another part of the same CNN article, it is noted that everyone has experienced sadness at some point or another. However, for an individual dealing with depression emotions tend can be more severe and last longer; instead of lasting minutes or hours, feelings can last for the large part of the day or for several days. Eating or sleep habits can also be another change to look for, in teens. Teens might isolate themselves from family and friends, often spending more time alone in their rooms. They can also become angry or irritable more easily, turning violent or rebellious and even using drugs and alcohol.
Parents can help by expressing their own feelings and showing compassion for those who are struggling—modeling that behavior can help teach kids it is ok to not be ok. Experts recommend that parents, teachers, and health care providers check in regularly with young people to see how they are feeling. Learn more about the disparities among Hispanic and LatinX communities, which outlines data associated with the community. This data defines the Hispanic and LatinX communities as: Hispanic or Latino is defined as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. On this web page we use the term Hispanic. In 2018, people of Hispanic origin composed an estimated 18.3% of the U.S. population. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) also notes that, "identity and culture for members of the Hispanic/Latinx community is as complex and rich as the history and trajectory of this population. In other words, there is no one Hispanic/Latinx culture."
According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, protective factors that impact suicide rates among the LatinX population include:
Connect with resources on or off campus that direct you to these protective factors. Connect with the LWTech Counseling Center so they can help you with these factors.
In an excerpt from a Huffington Post article, they note that:
"While friends and family members may be reluctant to talk about mental health issues, it is important to try to establish open communication. Using language that a loved one is likely to understand might make the conversation easier, such as avoiding terms like “mental disorder” and describing physical symptoms first to break the ice. “Simply talking about your situation and illness to someone understanding may reduce some of the stress you have,” said June Cao, a New York-based clinical psychologist who works with Asian Americans. “It can also help your loved ones to understand you better and relieve their concerns about you."
Call the suicide helpline at (800) 273-8255 if you or are friend are considering suicide or having feelings about suicide. Texting is also available. Text “HEAL” to 741741 Crisis Text Line.
This webinar will provide an overview of suicide prevention with the intention of encouraging participants to be available to prevent suicide within the people they interact with. Facilitator will discuss warning signs and risk factors for suicide. National data, youth data, including suicide among Latinos and other relevant data will be presented.
On this Latinos Talk episode, they openly talk about going to therapy and sharing suicidal thoughts with counselors.
When it comes to mental health, Latina teens in the U.S. have disproportionately high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide attempts compared to their male counterparts and white peers -- which is a big deal considering 1 in 4 Gen Zers in the U.S. are Latino.
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