National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month, which takes place from September 15 to October 15, celebrates the cultures and achievements of Hispanic-Latino American communities in the United States. For the Department of Mental Health, this month is also an opportunity to focus on this population’s specific well-being needs, especially in identifying and reducing their unique barriers to accessing mental health care. Current and ongoing efforts to address this need include:
- Around-the-clock availability of Spanish-speaking staff at our 24/7 Help Line, as well as access to third-party services who can translate/interpret additional Latin American languages;
- Engagement with our stakeholders during program development, implementation, and evaluation, particularly through the Latino Underserved Cultural Communities (UsCC) group;
- Our United Mental Health Promoters program, which educates Hispanic-Latino communities about mental health issues, stigma reduction, and available supports through LACDMH and its partners;
- Engagement with Spanish language media and Hispanic-Latino community groups – including schools and faith-based organizations – through our Speakers Bureau, where our experts share timely information and tips on mental health and well-being;
- Trainings and consultations with our staff to enhance their cultural competency when working with Hispanic-Latino clients and their loved ones;
- Collaborations with other government agencies, private sector partners, and community- and faith-based organizations to further our outreach efforts to the Hispanic-Latino community.
We look forward to building upon these programs to better meet the mental health needs of L.A. County’s Hispanic-Latino communities. If you would like to get involved, please contact Dr. Luis Guzman, liaison to our Latino UsCC, at LGGuzman@dmh.lacounty.gov.
You can also learn more about National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month, and the Latin American countries that celebrate their Independence Days during this period, on our Cultural Traditions and Connections blog.