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The Language Barrier and Mental Health

Do you want to talk about it? just do it, do not stay silent, there is always someone who is willing to listen and help. Being well is not only physically, it has to do with integral health, where emotional health plays an important role.

Due to many factors that repress our emotions and our feelings, we often leave aside the attention that our mind should have. Mental health is as important as any other condition and we must take this aspect of our life into account.

To have a better understanding of mental health and why it currently resonates a lot in our communities, let's start with the definition.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "mental health is an integral and essential component of health”. The WHO Constitution says: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of disease or infirmity." An important consequence of this definition is that it considers mental health as more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities."

According to medical experts, there can be no complete health if mental health is absent. Attention to mental health issues has many ways to approach. Early care and effective prevention strategies can do much to help people going through these problems.

Speaking of the Latino community, there are many barriers to effective mental health care. In this article we focus on the language barrier, this factor seriously affects because it complicates communication between the patient and the medical staff. Unfortunately, there are few medical specialists in the area of human behavior who speak the Spanish language, and these are mainly found in communities with a large number of Latinos leaving populations living in rural areas unattended.

It is important to mention that, if you do not speak English, you have the right to receive care in your language so that through an interpreter you can understand everything your doctor tells you and ask all the questions you might have can think of so as not to be left with any doubts.

Some data from the Pan American Health Organization.

· Mental health disorders increase the risk of other illnesses and contribute to unintentional and intentional injuries.

· Depression continues to occupy the top position among mental disorders, and is twice as prevalent in women as men.

· Mental and neurological disorders in older adults, such as Alzheimer's disease, other dementias, and depression, contribute significantly to the burden of noncommunicable diseases.

· For severe and moderate adult affective, anxiety, and substance use disorders, the median treatment gap is 73.5% in the Region of the Americas, 47.2% in North America, and 77.9% in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

· The median public expenditure on mental health throughout the Region is only 2.0% of the health budget, and more than 60% of this money goes to psychiatric hospitals.

Resources for receiving care include:

· The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-888-628-9454. Attention in Spanish.

· For information on treatment from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, call 1-800-662-4357.

· If you need support after a disaster or emergency call 1-800-985-5990.





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