Many People of Color suffer from mental illness in silence because of the stigma surrounding mental health in the Latinx community. With the rising awareness of how deeply affected the community is—Latina teens have the highest rate of suicide in the U.S.—here’s a roundup of some of the resources available to Latinas coping with mental illness. The following activists and organizations not only prove that help is out there for the Latinx community but a reminder that you’re not alone.
Yo Soy Ella
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“I’m a DV survivor. I overcame troublesome relationships that could have ended my life and wrecked my future. I was afraid of leaving since it was a normal state in my life -well, that’s what I thought. But one day my heart said ENOUGH! Through the pain, shame, and scars that unfortunately, I physically still live with today, I was able to go forward in life. I was able to escape and end what was killing my light. I had to end the fear that was questioning my faith. Being afraid showed I lacked in faith. But enough was enough. My desire to be “alive” was stronger then how I was. I no longer was capable of giving power to dead and hopeless situations, people, and things. I chose to go forward unafraid, Pa’Lante Sin Miedo.” -Sarah💋 #YoSoyEllaInc Founder #PaLanteSinMiedo 🇵🇦🇵🇦🇵🇦
Yo Soy Ella is a Chicago-based organization whose motto is “spiritually empowering Latina women.” Through a spiritual-therapeutic approach, this organization offers spiritual mentorship, entrepreneur mentorship and educational enrichment. Non-Chicagoans can check out their Instagram page to find self-help guidance tips and inspiration.
The Steve Fund
The Steve Fund is the nation’s only organization supporting the mental health of young people of color. The website offers webinars and presentations and promotes Crisis Text Line, a 24/7 text line for people in crisis (text STEVE to 741741). Students can also request self-care, LGBTQ and “dealing with stereotypes” workshops among others.
The Focus on You
Stefanie Flores is a licensed mental health therapist in Nevada, whose blog The Focus on You is a treasure trove of self-care tips. Flores writes about meditation, the difference between burning out and depression and how to break the patterns of self-sabotage.
Afro-Dominicana Ghislaine León took a page from Oprah’s self-help book offering Soul Chats and Soul Tribe Sessions through her blog, Fearless Leon. The chats are about an hour long while the sessions aka “sister circles” sessions occur bi-monthly and promote healing, self-discovery, faith, empowerment and the power of feminine energy.
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This is photo of me looking centered and balanced because I’m totally not right now. Thank you guys for letting me sulk on Stories, and if you’re part of the email tribe, you know about my lunation email slip-ups and how I think my aches and fogginess are physical manifestations of inner imbalances. I’ve been feeling like a car that’s running late to a meeting that’s kinda just chilling on the side of a really busy highway. I know I’m not late because God is always on time, therefore so am I, and I know this sluggish, achey, trash feeling will surpass. All of this is temporary, but I’m taking this as a sign that I need to pump my brakes and s l o w d o w n . . PC: @audaciouskev
Mental health advocate Melanie Santos’ blog Mel À La Mode focuses on empowerment, self-love and the destigmatization of mental health. She regularly blogs about mental health issues with posts on generalized anxiety, suicide and emotional terrorism. She’ll be hosting “Good Vibes and Chill”, an event series launching in the Bronx on June 23 where they”ll focus on the power of intention and spiritual self-care practices.
Latinx Therapy Podcast
Adriana Alejandre is an LA-based counselor and relationship therapist who hosts Latinx Therapy podcast to discuss all things related to mental health for Latinx to break the stigma. Her sessions include “La Vergüenza A.K.A. Shame”, “Un diálogo honesto sobre el SEXO” and “Maldita Depresión”. She also has a Youtube Channel and a blog so basically she’s got you covered if you want to read, listen or watch tips from a mental health pro.
Nalgona Positivity Pride
Body positive activist Gloria Lucas is a Los Angeles-based Xicana and eating disorder survivor who created Nalgona Positivity Pride, a Xicana-Brown-Indigenous body positive site. Through her content she raises awareness of eating disorders and provides an empowering resource for communities of color embracing their bodies.
Afro-Latina Cinderella “Ella” D’jibril is a Peruvian mental health activist whose blog Ella Speakz and podcast, Building You Up discuss black mental health, self-help and body image. Her content normalizes mental health issues and her social media accounts are testaments to self-love and healing.
Puertoriqueña Emilia Ortiz is a self-proclaimed bruja, spiritual adviser and mental health who regularly posts self-help videos on her blog, Spiritual Mami. Topics include “Self Care and Self Love Ain’t Always Pretty” and “Why Therapy and Forms of it Are Necessary” and spoken word poetry. She’s developed a following of 122K on Instagram where she shares relatable memes, inspirational quotes and snippets of her video content for a daily dose of healing.
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#Repost @msfoundation ・・・ Dior Vargas is an activist and the creator of the People of Color & Mental Illness Photo Project, a response to the invisibility of people of color in the media representation of mental illness. #womenshistorymonth #mentalhealth #poc #activist #latina
Queer feminist Dior Vargas is a prominent mental health advocate who started the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project. The New-York based activist is the recipient of The White House Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy Across Generations and is working toward a Master of Public Health at NYU.