Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 this year. The U.S. government celebrates the countless contributions of more than 60 million Hispanic Americans, Latinos, Latinas, and Latinx-identifying people to our society.
The theme for 2023 is “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America,” highlighting the contributions of Hispanics to the economic, political, and social growth of the United States.
Everyone faces adversity and mental health challenges. Within the Hispanic community 22% of people report mental health challenges. That is a lot of people especially considering mental health challenges are often viewed as a weakness within the community often leading to people less likely to reach out for support. Those who do reach out to support face barriers such as language barriers, therapists who are not culturally competent, and insurance issues.
The NAN Project has recently begun implementing hispanic voices into our mental health programming to combat this stigma. This year we had five Spanish-speaking and two bilingual peer mentors train and graduate to work with The NAN Project and tell their inspiring stories of mental health struggles! We were thrilled to welcome these Spanish speaking peer mentors to our team as they help us to better expand our reach into diverse communities. In October alone, we already have five foreign language presentations lined up! For example, this week at Keverian Middle School in Everett, MA we presented to a class and shared Comeback stories in both Spanish and Portuguese.
Mental health can be especially stigmatized in hispanic communities, therefore it is extremely important to us that our programming is multiculturally accessible. During our spanish speaking presentations, we have noticed that students connect much more with the topic of mental health when the stories and struggles are told in their native language. We look forward to continuing to build upon our spanish language programming and are excited to offer hispanic youth the chance to explore their feelings and emotions surrounding mental health.
Some Hispanic based mental health supports are:
Hispanic Clinical Services in Lawrence MA
Cass Esperanza in Boston MA
The American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry
Therapy for LatinX
Some of the events coming up locally to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month are:
Friday Oct. 6, 2023
Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Fundraiser
Fri, Oct 6, 7:30 – 8:30 PM
40 Academy Hill Rd, Brighton, MA
For children ages 7-12, they will learn the basics of poetry writing and will share their poems with the group; led by Boston Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla
Thu, Oct 26, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Boston Public Library – Central Library
700 Boylston St, Boston, MA
For the month of October, Special Collections will be highlighting items in our collections from Hispanic creators for National Hispanic Heritage Month. Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
Fri, Oct 13, 8 – 10 AM
Union Station Grand Hall
2 Washington Sq, Worcester, MA
Presented by CENTRO Inc., The Institute of Latino Art & Culture invites you to their 4th Annual Central Mass Hispanic Heritage Breakfast