Hispanic Heritage Month puts Spotlight on the Mental Health of Latinx Student
September is Hispanic Heritage Month, an opportunity to focus on the unique mental health needs of Latinx students. As colleges and universities direct more attention and resources to student mental health, Latinx, and other BIPOC students, must remain top of mind. While Hispanic/Latinx people are similarly susceptible to mental health problems, they tend to struggle more than the general population when it comes to access to and quality of care (National Alliance on Mental Illness). For Hispanic adults between 18 and 25 years-old with serious mental illness, more than half may not be receiving treatment (NAMI). For all Hispanic adults with mental illness, only 35.1%, compared to 46.2% for the U.S. average, are receiving treatment (NAMI).
Moving forwards, mental health professionals and advocates can help promote the expansion and diversification of their field—to break down the language barriers and cultural competency issues that keep Hispanic/Latinx students from receiving the best possible care. Notable groups already engaged in advocating for Latinx student wellness include The Steve Fund, which focuses on the mental health of young people of color, and Excelencia in Education, which is dedicated to the success of Latinx college students. This month reinforces the importance of their work and all of our responsibility to follow their lead.