Cultivating New Perspectives for Mental Health in the Latino Community During the Pandemic

 In Colorado Spirit

Many thanks to Javier Acosta, Colorado Spirit Counselor, for writing this week’s post in English and Spanish.

Click here to read the Spanish version of this week’s post.

Latin Americans have had to go through a lot of stressful situations this past year and a half. Many jobs that employed Hispanics were hit hard during the pandemic. Some of these positions have lower wages and sometimes offer little to no benefits. Combined with the instability of the pandemic, this can overwhelm many and cause stress. So how can we take care of ourselves and our communities in these situations?

It is easy to get enveloped in the news cycle in times of crisis, but this can cause a feeling of uncertainty and a lack of control. We recommend taking notes on how much news you consume, how it impacts you, and consider setting some limits to see if it would help to cut back. Doing this can re-establish a sense of normalcy and help develop more balanced routines. If I feel overwhelmed and notice stress has become a barrier in my life, I like to write or think of what is in my control. As an individual, I need to be aware of what I can directly impact. The reality is we are human and can only do so much.

Another tip is to maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. We know that our Hispanic culture has strong familial relationships. I also know, as a Hispanic male, it can be hard to share feelings or ask for emotional support. Some may not talk about mental health because of cultural stigma, pride, or believing it is a negative topic. One thing to remember is that mental health is real. Ignoring it can have long-lasting implications. One way to overcome this barrier is to listen. Listening can play a role in both asking and giving support. The goal is to become emotionally aware of your feelings and the feelings of the people closest to you. The people closest to you will likely be there for you the same way you would be there for them. There is nothing wrong with going to a family member or a friend and asking for aid.

Be aware of yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. When we stress, it becomes harder to think logically, process information, react to situations, and our overall efficiency is lowered. We shouldn’t view stress as something that will disappear if it is ignored. The pandemic has added strain over our everyday lives during the past year; stress being a collateral effect. It’s completely normal and ok for many of us to feel stressed. It’s about handling those feelings before they can cause more harm. 

If speaking to someone would help, please reach out. AllHealth Network provides several supports.

  • To speak with someone in the Colorado Spirit Program about stress related to the pandemic, please call 720-707-6789 or visit our webpage at allhealthnetwork.org/Colorado-Spirit
  • For information about other services at AllHealth Network or to get connected with ongoing behavioral health support, please call 303-730-8858. AllHealth Network is continuing to provide service via telehealth or by phone and our Crisis Walk-in Center remains open 24/7.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-8255 (TALK) or text TALK to 38255.

How do you know if you’re experiencing a mental health crisis? Click here to learn about mental health crisis warning signs to look out for from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive information about our free groups and get notifications when we post coping tips, mindfulness suggestions, and more.

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