Things That Matter

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

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!

Latinas Are Opening Up About Their Experiences With Dealing With Postpartum Depression And It’s The Most Important Thing

Fierce

Latinas Are Opening Up About Their Experiences With Dealing With Postpartum Depression And It’s The Most Important Thing

When it comes to having a baby, there’s no doubt that parents will experience a wide range of emotions. From pride and joy to fear and excitement, having a baby, whether it’s for the first or the ninth time, will undoubtedly trigger all kinds of feelings you haven’t felt before. For many, giving birth can also produce a feeling that others would not anticipate: depression. 

According to the  Mayo Clinic, postpartum depression can occur not only in women but in new fathers as well and it is defined by mood swings, anxiety, sadness, crying and feelings of overwhelm. Many new parents will also experience irritability, reduced concentration, appetite problems and trouble sleeping. But the truth about postpartum depression is that it isn’t just unique to the feelings, in fact, the mood disorder can cause quite a bit of shame and isolation. After all, having a baby should be marked by a period of joy and happiness. But in reality, this isn’t always the case. Despite the fact that many expect new parents to be nothing but elated and a little bit starved for sleep around this time, in reality, PPD is not only very real but also perfectly normal to experience. In fact, according to Postpartum Depression Statistics, “approximately 70% to 80% of women will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.”

To get a better understanding of these feelings of depression and how Latinas deal with it in their own circumstances, FIERCE reached out to Latinas for their experiences in dealing with depression after they gave birth and how they learned to deal.

When it comes to PPD, you might feel too ashamed to reach out but there’s no one that will help you quite like your community.

Of course, like anyone dealing with depression, there is often a sense of shame tied to your sadness that will likely prevent you from reaching out at first. After all, when it comes to mental health (particularly in the Latino community) the world has a lot to learn and a lot of coming around to do.

“I am so so thankful for the conversations starting to happen! When I got diagnosed with PPD even though I had resources available to me like therapy and doctors it wasn’t until I found my community of other moms in similar situations that I felt not alone. Community is everything!” – twistedforsugar

Opening up to family can start the healing process.

No doubt about it, reaching out to your amigas, BFFs, and mommy groups will likely help you find the kind of support and love you need to climb the mountain of depression you might be experiencing. But it’s also important to remember that sometimes receiving comfort from your family can be way more helpful than you might have expected. After all, you know who else has likely either dealt with PPD or experienced it first hand for themselves long before you did? Your mama and your papa.

“I was the first to be open about my partum depression in my family. (Prior to that my family didn’t believe it existed). But, now we get to talk about it and it’s so healing!” – karlasturtz

Take a vacation and remember that even though your kids might see you as Wonder Woman, you’re also a real woman with real concerns that should be taken care of.

Yes, mama, you deserve as much attention and love as your newborn too. Don’t worry about reshaping your post-birth body right now. Jump into your favorite bathing suit, head off to your favorite ski sights and do you girl.

“Swear this made me cringe on how I did it twice and big freaken S/O to all those mommas that did it with 5+ kids!! Y’all need a damn holiday named after you wonder women!” – yes.its_still.me11

Just remember, yes you have a baby now so things are different, but you’re still deserving of love, light and a whole lot of patience and self- love.

You know how on flights, attendants always tell you to put your mask on first before you put on someone else’s? PPD kind of works that way too. Of course, you never want to neglect your little one but be sure to be kind to yourself just as you are to your newborn. 

“Yea i was definitely NOT prepared for my stomach to be big, and saggy for the first few months after” – thebitchyhippie559

Above all, get professional help.

Self-treatment is never really the most effective or safest way to go. If you think that you have postpartum depression, be sure to reach out to a support group. Postpartumdepression.org has a ton of resources for you here.

‘The Craft’ Remake Is Going To Put Brujería Front And Center With A Trans Latinx Actress

Entertainment

‘The Craft’ Remake Is Going To Put Brujería Front And Center With A Trans Latinx Actress

@iamzoeyluna / Instagram

Just in time for Spooky Season, we are getting news about the upcoming “Craft” reboot. The 1996 supernatural thriller about four young women experimenting with the occult was a blockbuster hit that still has die-hard fans. Earlier this year, a reboot of the film was announced by popular horror production company, Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse has given us such films as “Get Out” and “The Purge” series so there’s no doubt that it can do justice to this cult classic. 

Now, it seems we officially have a new quartet of witches for this reboot with the addition of a final actress to take on one of the starring roles. 

Completing the main cast is trans Latinx actress Zoey Luna in the role of Lourdes.

Twitter / @blumhouse

Back in June of 2017, the production company put out a casting notice for the part, looking for a young transgender Latina actress to play the role. According to Blumhouse, “Lourdes is the second member of the teenaged Clique. Her super-Catholic mother threw her out for being trans and she now lives with her 80-year-old abuela, who has taught Lourdes a variety of supernatural practices.”

Luna joins Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon and Lovie Simone as the four women at the focus of the supernatural horror story. Much like the 1996 version, the reboot will center upon a new girl coming into the school and befriending three other social outcasts to form a witchy coven. The film is being written, directed and produced by Zoe Lister-Jones.

Relatively new to the acting world, this will be Luna’s first big role as an actress. 

Twitter / @lgbtqnation

Luna’s start in the world of acting began with documentaries about being a transgender woman. Among them is “15: A Quinceañera Story,” a documentary about Luna and other young girls getting ready for their quinceañeras with the help of trans women who never got the same opportunity. The young actress also recently appeared in a Season 2 episode of “Pose.”

Since its announcement over the weekend, news of Luna’s casting has been celebrated by trans activists and members of the LGBTQ+ community as a step forward for trans representation. 

Twitter / @TransEquality

Horror movies have a bad history of including trans female storylines as a means to terrify or shock viewers. The decision of Blumhouse to cast a trans actress for a trans role might be a sign that this will be one of the first positive trans female depictions in horror.

Other Twitter users were enthusiastic to see not only trans representation but representation for trans people of color. 

Twitter / @RaeGun2k

Transgender women especially Black trans women are often the focus of violence. In 2018, 26 trans women were murdered. Seeing more positive representations of trans women in media is a step towards the very necessary inclusion that our communities need.  

Of course, we’re really excited to see some brujeria brought to the film. 

Twitter / @en_tze

Brujeria is an important subset of witchcraft but isn’t as represented as other elements of witchery. When it is shown in film and media, it’s often represented negatively or through the use of hokey stereotypes. To see it used as the main storyline in the reboot of this well-loved movie is definitely an improvement. 

As of now, “The Craft” reboot doesn’t have a date to start filming or for its release. Still, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on all the bewitching news that comes from the set.