Things That Matter

There Is A Growing Database That Is Connecting Latinos With Culturally Competent Therapists

Therapy For Latinx

For many Latinos, mental health still carries a very real and very scary stigma. The statistics support this as there are an estimated 8.9 million Latino people in the U.S. that live with a diagnosable mental illness, but only 10 percent of Latinos with a mental health disorder seek mental health treatment. The disparity comes from several factors including lack of culturally competent therapists and high health care costs. Brandie Carlos knows firsthand about dealing with depression and the stigma Latinos sometimes face when seeking help for mental health issues. That was enough motivation for Carlos, a web designer, to create Therapy For Latinx, an online database that helps Latinos find mental health professionals in their own communities.

Therapy for Latinx is a website dedicated to helping Latinos find “culturally competent” therapists in their own communities.

Creator Brandie Carlos found herself lost in February 2017 when one of her best friends died by suicide. She was frustrated when she couldn’t find a therapist who spoke Spanish and understood her culturally.

“I tried seeking Latino therapy but nothing came up,” Carlos says. “It was when found out about a Black therapy database I thought to myself, ‘Why not a Latino version of this?'”

She put her website design skills to use and launched Therapy for Latinx this May. The website currently has over 65 Latino mental health practitioners in it’s directory and features a blog that highlights first-person stories of mental illness from a Latino perspective.

“I didn’t have a metal health or psychological background,” Carlos explains. “All I wanted was to focus on user friendliness when creating a website that would help people find these resources.”

Carlos argues that mental health needs to be talked about more, especially within Latino households.

According to the American Psychological Association, 50 percent of Latinos don’t return to a psychologist after the first session which may be due to the language and cultural barriers. Carlos says it also has to due with stigmas and taboos in the Latino household when seeking mental help.

“I personally grew up depressed and under a Catholic family where things like mental health and depression weren’t talked about,” Carlos says. “You are either called a ‘Loca’ or crazy when you express a need for self-care.”

About 1 percent of U.S. psychologist practitioners identify as Latino, which shows the lack of cultural competency one may find when seeking help. Additionally suicide rates among Latino girls (grades 9–12) are 50 percent higher than suicide rates among white girls of the same age group.

Therapy for Latinx is helping connect Latinos to mental health services they never knew existed.

Carlos hopes the website grows beyond just a database but a nationwide resource for minorities to find help and seek information on mental health. There are plans to start a mentorship program to help more people of color (POC) be involved in the industry to help their communities.

“Once I started working on making things more accessible, I realized this is about social justice as well,” Carlos said. “As Latinos we’re incredibly underserved and I want to see these new mentors serve POCs.”

According to Carlos, one community that is heavily underserved are undocumented immigrants. This community has faced psychological attacks because of their immigration status and the current immigration debate in the U.S.

“We’ve had many people ask for help concerning immigration and LGBTQ services,” Carlos says. “We are always trying to grow our voice and help these marginalized groups find resources.”

The website is just a start in addressing mental health and the beginning of a larger discussion when it comes to Latinos and their mental health.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Mental Health America

Therapy for Latinx is growing at a fast rate, Carlos says its Instagram has averaged around 1500 new users a month, and wants to spread its services beyond just a database. Carlos hopes to have health workshops throughout the country and has already began planning a mental health event in Los Angeles. While there is still a ways to go in having more Latino health professionals reach the number of Latinos in the U.S., Carlos sees the discussion of mental health growing into a bigger conversation.

“When you’ve grown up speaking Spanish, it’s part of your identity. When a therapist speaks your language it makes a huge difference,” Carlos says. “It means a lot of Latinos are going to thrive without these cultural barriers stopping them.”


READ: 20 Famous Latinos Who’ve Publicly Dealt With Mental Illness

Have you personally dealt with mental health issues?  Let us know by sharing your story in the comment section below!

The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Entertainment

The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic? You’ve heard all of those terms before, and you have, of course, also heard the arguments that come over their use. Nowadays, many younger generations of Latinx folks decide to opt for “Latinx” because it’s more inclusive but there are still others who haven’t fully accepted or adopted this term in their daily lives. 

Many people who are of Mexican, Argentinian, Cuban, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan (and many other countries!) descent, have a difficult time coming agreeing to one term that everyone can identify as. 

But that’s the point of having different opinions and experiences, so it’s important to learn more about one’s history and also be open to another’s point of view.

Reddit user u/Aldopeck posted a status on the thread r/stupidpol posted about the Daily Show trying to use “Latinx to seem woke to Spanish people. All the Latinos in the comment section react saying ‘Latinx’ is a bullshit term that’s never going to be a thing.” 

Many people have also tried to make sense of whether Latino, Latinx or Hispanic is any “better” or “more inclusive” of a term. For example, last year, Remezcla published an extensive article on a brief but thorough history of how these words originated.  “Through my conversations and research into the background of these terms, it became clear that the origins and evolution of what we call ourselves is as complicated as our history in the United States,” writes Yara Simón for Remezcla on the topic

“We’ll probably never find a perfect term, especially as some prefer to identify as their (or their family’s) country of origin.”

Arturo Castro went on the Daily Show last month to talk to Trevor Noah about his latest sketch show “Alternatino.” In the segment, Castro spoke to Noah about how difficult it was to juggle his characters from “Broad City” and “Narcos.” But he also talked about his heritage and how his experiences as a Latino influence his work. 

“You know, being Latino, everybody sort of expects you to be, like, suave, you know, and really like spicy food or be really good at dancing,” Castro said. “I really like matcha, you know?”

But regardless of his matcha-loving ways, Castro is very intentional about uplifting his community (he’s from Guatemala) and isn’t one to shy away from major issues affecting people of color through his Comedy Central sketch show, “Alternatino.” For example, earlier this week, Comedy Central aired an episode of “Alternatino” that includes a mass-shooting-themed sketch

In “The Daily Show” interview, Noah then asks Castro, “what do you think some of the biggest misconceptions are about being Latino that you’ve come across in America that you try and debunk in the show?” 

To which Castro replies, “Well, you know, there’s this thing about being ultra-violent or being lazy. Like, you know, the most common misconception is about Latino immigrants being lazy. Where I find Latino immigrants to be some of the hardest-working people in the world, right?” 

While Arturo Castro dropped some gems during the interview, notice that his quotes all referred to his community and himself as “Latino”? Well, when The Daily Show shared a promotional post on Facebook about the interview, they used the term “Latinx” and people were not happy about it.

“Arturo Castro pokes fun at Latinx stereotypes on his new sketch series, “Alternatino,” the social team for The Daily Show wrote on Facebook. 

It didn’t take long for the backlash to pop up in the comments section.

Users were quick to comment on the use of the term Latinx, and criticize the show for inserting the word into Castro’s quote.

While the argument about whether one should use Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic is still up in the air, people can’t help but have opinions about it. 

A reddit user argued that “you can’t really say [Latinx] in Spanish. I mean you can ‘Latin-equis’ but nobody does. The whole thing just reeks of white liberal wokeness being imposed on a community of smelly unfortunates. If they’re so concerned with gendered languages why don’t they do the same thing with French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.?” 

But other Facebook commenters weren’t going to let people off the hook for criticizing The Daily Show’s use of “Latinx” in their promotion. 

As one Facebook user pointed out, “not everyone identifies as binary male/female…hence the use of Latinx…it is for people who can’t or won’t identify as either. If you don’t like Latinx then don’t use it…see how simple that was?”

So, what’s it going to be? Latinx, Latino, or Hispanic? This social outrage also begs the question, if someone didn’t refer to themselves as “Latinx,” then should you omit the use of that term completely? Should brands be thinking harder about this before they hit post? 

You tell us! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Beloved Spanish Flamenco Guitarist Charo Says Her Hair Was Covered In Her Husband’s Blood After He Committed Suicide

Fierce

Beloved Spanish Flamenco Guitarist Charo Says Her Hair Was Covered In Her Husband’s Blood After He Committed Suicide

It’s one thing to lose a loved one but it must be completely devastating and traumatic to witness them take their own life. In her first television interview since the death of her husband, Kjell Rasten, Charo opened up about finding him on “The Talk” and the importance of spotting depression.

TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic details about death suicide appear in this article. 

Recently, Spanish Flamenco Guitarist Charo detailed the circumstances of her husband’s tragic death, which occurred back in February of this year.

During her appearance on “The Talk,” the Spanish singer and actress famously known as Charo detailed the days leading up to his suicide. Rasten died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. According to USA Today, Charo has previously noted that her husband’s mental health had declined in recent years “due to bullous pemphigoid, an autoimmune disorder that which causes chronic blistering of the skin, and the medications (including steroids) he was prescribed to treat it.” 

This resulted in, Charo says, Rasten becoming depressed. “That, along with the many medications he needed to take, became too much for him,” she has said. 

During her emotional interview, she also thanked fans and family for their support and reminded others to beware of the signs of depression.

Her husband, who died earlier this year in February at 79, worked as a TV producer in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He married Charo–whose real name is María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza–in 1978. They were married for over 40 years.  During her first interview after the death of her husband, Charo recalled the night before it all happened. She said they had just returned from a show in Palm Springs and when they returned to their home in Los Angeles, he seemed off. “He looked at me very strange,” she says in the video. 

Speaking about Rasten, Charo said she had been completely in the blind when it came to his suicidal thoughts.

“He was the best husband, the best father, the best companion,” Charo says repeating that she had “no clue” suicide was on his mind. 

The following day, on February 18 in the evening, he shot himself. Rasten shot himself in an alley and Charo believes “he did not want that I find him.” She found him though and when she did, she thought that her husband had simply fallen down. 

The details Charo shared of her husband’s death were extremely shocking.

“I ran to him, because I thought he fell and I hugged him and I was full of blood,” Charo says. “My hair was full of blood like I had a shower of blood.”

Charo continues to detail her husband’s last moments to the hosts of “The Talk” calm and collected–her strength is inspiring.  She continues to explain that when she found her husband he still had a pulse and was still breathing. 

She immediately began to call for help, call the police and the ambulance. As soon as they got to Cedars-Sinai, Rasten was declared her dead. 

“And that moment, I had a bullet in my heart,” Charo said detailing the moment when a policeman made it clear to her that her husband had not in fact fallen down, but “put a bullet in his head.”

One of “The Talk” co-host’s Sheryl Underwood, who’s an actress and comedian, also went through the same experience. Her husband died from suicide in 1990, and the comedian told Charo that they now have a “sisterhood in this way.” 

“How do you survive?” Charo asked Underwood. To which Underwood replied, “In the same way, I had to choose life, and I put God first. And you and I have a bond.” 

We’re sending so much love and light to Charo and her family during this difficult time in her life.

Despite what she’s gone through, Charo continues to show us her bubbly and wonderful personality on Instagram, sharing daily updates on her life. 

On Father’s Day, she shared a photo of her son visiting his father’s grave leaving his roses. “I want to share with you a nice moment with my son, Shel Jr. bringing flowers to his Wonderful father,” she captioned the photo. 

Earlier this month she gave her first interview since her husband’s death to The New York Times where she revealed her secret to finding joy in life again. 

You must live! And you must watch out for the people you love!,” Charo said. “I have a plan. I want to change the world. I know what I want, what I want is what people want.”

Let’s all adopt Charo’s words of wisdom and look out for one another.

It must have been so hard for Charo to open up about this painful experience but we applaud her for her bravery in order to help others who may be going through a similar experience.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

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