The Latinx community faces unique challenges when it comes to mental health, including cultural stigmas that often prevent people from seeking help. There’s the idea that you’re “loco” if you seek help and that mental health issues aren’t to be talked about especially to the public for fear of how people will judge you. Latina Licensed Clinical Social Workers and marriage and family therapists are working to break down these barriers and create safe spaces for their clients and facilitating these conversations through their social platforms. We are highlighting nine Latina LCSWs who are making a difference by destigmatizing mental health and providing culturally competent care. Professionals like Dr. Mariel Buqué and Dr. Lisette Sanchez use their own experiences and understanding of Latinx culture to provide their clients with the support they need to begin the healing process. Through their work, they are not only helping individuals heal but also working towards a larger cultural shift in the Latinx community.
Emilia Ortega-Jara – Corazon Counseling
As a licensed Clinical Social Worker in California, Emilia Ortega-Jara specializes in the intersection of traditional Indigenous healing and mental health. She posts encouraging quotes, offers virtual support groups, and tips for dealing with grief. “I truly hope that as a society we begin to courageously talk about mental and emotional health without shame and guilt, and maybe just maybe we’ll begin to heal our communities, families, and ourselves from the inside out.,” she writes in a blog post. Her biggest piece of mental health advice? Detox the mind.
Gloria Osborne-Sheeler – Glow in Therapy
First Gen, Afro-Latina Gloria Osbourne-Sheeler who is dedicated to improving self-care and self-love practices among people of color through her practice. She uses her social media platforms to empower POC and celebrate healing and spiritual work. She works with individuals and couples through Imago relationship therapy.
Dr. Yanira Hernandez – Palante Therapy
Dr. Yanira Hernandez is the daughter of working class immigrants and recalls the struggles her family faced, which inspired her to study cultural response therapy. Her Instagram feed is filled with videos of first-generation point of views centering on imposter syndrome, trauma, anxiety, and depression. “Heal your inner child. Break those toxic generational cycles of trauma. Speak your truth. Your voice has so much power even if it’s not loud yet,” she says in a recent post.
Jacqueline Garcia – TherapyLux
Jackie Garcia grew up in Tijuana, Mexico until she was 11 years old and migrated to the United States and that part of her identity continues to inspire her work as a therapist. “I struggled adjusting to a new culture, new language, new friends, new trends, you name it,” she writes on her website. When she had her very first therapy session, she learned how to adjust to her new life and deal with hardships. She’s known for her informative and thoughtful reels directed at the Latinx community tackling topics like breaking the cycle of generational trauma, destigmatizing mental health, and setting healthy boundaries. “Many Latinx families may struggle understanding the concept of ‘boundaries’ because we have been conditioned to put family above everything including oneself,” she writes in a post. “Remember that you can set boundaries and still show up in your loved ones lives.” ⠀
Evelyn Mejia – La Mariposita Healing
Guatemalan therapist Evelyn Mejia posts videos that encourage self-love and a positive relationship with mental health. She is candid about the struggles people face with intrusive thoughts, shares her bicultural experiences, and encourages her clients to embrace their emotions. She wants to make each therapy session a place of support, safety, and trust, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” modality. “A major part in how effective therapy can be is your willingness,” she says on Instagram. “Therapy often works when you’re ready to dive in. It can feel scary but continue to show up for yourself. You are worth the effort.”
Mirna Martinez, Oaxacali Therapist
Queer Oaxacan and bilingual Associate Clinical Social Worker, Mirna Martinez often shares resources on coping skills, self-care check lists, and reminders that it’s okay to ask for help. She’s a trauma therapist who is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), designed to alleviate the stress tied to traumatic memories. On Instagram she writes, “Oftentimes we hold a narrative in our heads that we don’t need help. Sometimes we may feel like an inconvenience and let our anxiety take over. Don’t overthink it, ask for help.”
Dr. Lisette Sanchez – Calathea Wellness
Dr. Lisette Sanchez is a bilingual/bicultural licensed psychologist and the founder of Calathea Wellness, a virtual practice providing individual therapy. She is dedicated to aiding first generation individuals and comes from an informed place as a first gen daughter of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. She regularly writes about struggles first gen face on Instagram and has launched a Youtube channel, @thefirstgenpsychologist where she discusses the unique struggles and healing practices for first gen.
Natalie Gutierrez uses her platform to center Complex Trauma/ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). She recently published The Pain We Carry where she examined CPTSD within BIPOC communities and provided guidance on healing through real-life stories. She regularly posts about structural and systemic trauma and informs on how to work through the unique traumas that BIPOC face today while also addressing ancestral pain and healing modalities.
Dr. Mariel Buqué – Break the Cycle Trauma
Dr. Mariel Buqué is a licensed psychologist and an author who specializes in intergenerational trauma and Indigenous healing. On Instagram, she shares advice and encouragement on breaking cycles, controlling emotions, and mental strength. She hosts “tea therapy sessions” on Instagram addressing different ways to break the cycle of trauma. She launched an Instagram account, Break the Cycle of Trauma, dedicated to dismantling harmful beliefs and behaviors. “It’s time to break the cycles of self-loathing and once and for all commit to truly and profoundly loving yourself.”