As May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, the national movement to raise awareness about mental health, Grant Halliburton Foundation has launched HereForTexas.com/espanol to ensure that mental health information and a provider database are available in Spanish. Already available in English at HereForTexas.com, this free community tool offers easy access for North Texans seeking mental health, addiction and suicide prevention resources.
Blanca N. Garcia, LCSW-S, director of mental health resources at Grant Halliburton Foundation, explains why it is important to reach additional people in North Texas with mental health programming and resources, especially Spanish speakers.
“The Hispanic population is diverse and comprises the largest ethnic minority group in Texas at 50 percent,” Garcia said. “While this community suffers from the same mental health conditions the rest of the country faces, cultural differences and language barriers may lead mental health professionals to misdiagnose Hispanics, and fear of having the stigma of a mental illness prevents some from seeking help.”
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and Hispanic Star:
· 18% of Hispanic adults have a mental illness
· Only 34% access mental health treatment
· Treatment barriers are stigma, cost and language
· More than 10 million Latinos in the U.S. reported having a mental illness
· 35.1% of Hispanic or Latino residents received treatment for mental illness.
The goals of the Hispanic outreach initiative are to make all of Grant Halliburton Foundation’s
information, presentations and resources available in Spanish, with information that is culturally relevant and appropriate for people who are Hispanic or who grew up in a Hispanic household. To that end, the Foundation has translated all of its marketing and educational materials into Spanish, updated the information in its brochures and mental health presentations to ensure that they are accurate, and will continue to provide bilingual services to callers on the Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line.
Callers to the no-cost Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line are connected to a trained mental health navigator who can offer support and information about services and resources in their area. These are trained volunteers who gather pertinent information from the caller regarding their needs. Then, an experienced mental health professional helps to identify specific resources tailored to the caller’s needs within 24 hours. Note: The Mental Health Navigation Line is not a crisis line, but navigators can direct callers to additional crisis resources.
Garcia added, “I want the Hispanic community to start talking about mental health, so they aren’t afraid to reach out for care when someone in the family needs help. From new families immigrating to the U.S. to first-generation Texans, there are so many mental health conditions that go unaddressed. We’re taught to be strong and keep working hard no matter what. Our Hispanic families deserve to be taken care of too, especially in terms of mental health. We want to make sure they have access to information, support and resources.”
Grant Halliburton Foundation works with other trusted Hispanic-serving organizations like The Concilio, Therapy Works Counseling, Bachman Lake Together, Cannenta Center, Community Does It and DFW Hispanic Heritage Ambassadors, among others. As partners, the Foundation provides its services and resources to these organizations. “We hope the Foundation will be the go-to place for mental health questions, information and resources for the Hispanic community,” Garcia said.
Mental illness affects individuals from all walks of life, and suicide rates are rising at alarming levels for many, including Black and Hispanic communities. Garcia remarked, “I’m proud Grant Halliburton Foundation is choosing to lead by example, and I hope that those who look like me and my family members, speak the language, and share the culture will trust us. Our goal is to help them find appropriate help and resources for themselves and their families.”
United HealthCare provided a grant to translate the website. The grant also allowed the Foundation to hire two Hispanic Outreach staff members who are master’s-level social workers and native Spanish speakers.