Open Search
Open Navigation

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

Alliant International University
Alliant International University
Published 07/26/2017
3 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

Celebrating Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2017: Opening Doors for Hispanics/Latinos

By CSPP Dean Teresa Chapa, PhD

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month! This year we want to focus on our Hispanic/Latino communities- not just to raise awareness but to also take action.

Did you know that persons of Hispanic origin are the nation's largest ethnic/racial minority? In fact, we are 56.6 million strong; almost 18% of the U.S. population with the largest numbers residing right here in California. Yet, despite our presence and strength in numbers, we are facing a crisis in knowledge of, access to, and the use of mental healthcare.

Latinos are overrepresented in many of the most vulnerable populations, including the poor, children, elderly, and the uninsured. Conversely, we are overwhelmingly underrepresented among mental health professionals, leaving those who need to communicate in Spanish without needed culturally and linguistically competent mental health professionals. Our current workforce is experiencing a mass shortage of these special providers.

The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University is committed to inclusive excellence and is home to nearly 23% Hispanic/Latino students in Doctoral and Master level programs in clinical psychology, Couples and Family Therapy, and Clinical Counseling programs. Our programs prepare students to become culturally and linguistically competent mental health practitioners through rigorous academic and experiential preparation. Our goal is to fully prepare our students to meet today’s community and workforce needs while eliminating disparities and bridging gaps to accessing quality mental healthcare for all.

As a community, Latinos are also less likely to seek mental health care because of fear, shame or lack of information, leaving most without needed treatments. And although we experience common mental health concerns such as depression, suicidality, PTSD, and alcoholism, our ability to access quality culturally appropriate treatment is poor, putting us at a higher risk for more severe and persistent forms of mental health conditions. Instead of receiving professional care, Latinos may be self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol; using herbal supplements, or seeking advice from friends, family, faith healers, or religious leaders. Nonetheless, we would prefer including the traditional approach of faith, spirituality and family for complementary when in treatment for a mental health condition.

The truth is, many people in our community don’t even know the signs or symptoms of a mental health problem. Imagine suffering from heart disease, asthma or diabetes and going untreated! It’s a vicious cycle ­­-- lack of information increases stigma, and stigma keeps you from seeking the care you need and deserve. And without the right care, certain mental health conditions can worsen and become disabling.

Raising awareness about the needs for mental healthcare for, and among, Latino communities alone is not enough. We must turn awareness into knowledge and knowledge into action. We need to dismantle barriers to care; build a culturally and linguistically competent mental health practitioner workforce, and work together to promote recovery and wellness. Si se puede!


You might also like

Back to Blog
Learn More
Paige Cole

Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Paige Cole

Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Paige Cole California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University MA Marriage...

Learn More

Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Reese Abbene

Alumni Spotlight: Q&A with Reese Abbene California School of Education at Alliant International University MAE in School...

Learn More
Sugey Gomez

Student Career Spotlight: Sugey Gomez

Becoming a…Psychologist Sugey Gomez PsyD in Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student CSPP at Alliant International University Q: What...

Request Information

  • 1
    Current Select Interests
  • 2
    Provide Information