McAllen, TX, April 27, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- During the month of May special attention is dedicated to the importance of mental well-being and holistic wellness. May is the National Mental Health Month and many mental health professionals emphasize the importance of living complete general, mental and social well-being. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, poverty level affects mental health status. Hispanics living below the poverty level, as compared to Hispanics over twice the poverty level, are three times more likely to report psychological distress. Yet Hispanics are less likely to seek professional mental health services due to a variety of reasons.
“Among Latinos with mental disorders, fewer than 1 in 11 contact mental health care specialists” –Says Dr Martha Alaniz- “Among other things, cultural barriers often get in the way for the Latino population that needs mental health services.”
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, Latinos are identified as a high-risk group for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Among other things, Hispanic Woman tend to experience more long-term anxiety and depression than other social groups. Dr. Alaniz explains that the rates of Hispanics experiencing mental distress are higher with U.S. born and long-term residents than among recently immigrated Hispanics.
The mental health burden is especially prominent in big South US border towns. “There is a significant shortage of psychologist in McAllen alone, which only makes it more difficult for the Hispanic population to get the adequate mental treatments they need… In addition to overcoming cultural barriers and stereotypes about mental health, national psychological organizations and groups should pay special attention to training psychologist to serve the growing Hispanic and Latino population.”
*Dr. Martha Alaniz is a License Professional Counselor and Doctor of Psychology. She coordinates efforts to increase well-being through regular mental health checkups and screenings. As a Psychologist in McAllen she has helped hundreds of patients during her 20+ years of mental health practice.