Carlos Galindo Elvira, the Director of Engagement & Community Partnerships for Chicanos Por La Causa, wrote about the suicide rate amongst Latino/Hispanics and the lack of mental health resources for them. Elvira about his own suicidal ideation and his search for help in Sunday’s Arizona Republic. He discusses why Latinos/Hispanics are reluctant to discuss this issue and how to find help.
Elvira attributes the hesitancy to talk about mental health due to a cultural problem saying it’s meant to be private, in particular for Hispanic males.
“Those expectations lead to a reluctance to seek help and to get help,” Elvira says.
Factors leading to the reluctance include legal status that could lead to barriers to expressing any mental health issues with someone they trust.
Elvira had a friend that listened and have him advice when he was open about his mental health struggles. He got the help he needed and now wants to use the knowledge he gained to help others not go through the same things he did.
“I want to be a spark through my guest column for people to seek out that help especially during a crisis,” Elvira said.
Elvira pointed out that it’s often times the person you least expect while also referencing that it could be anyone that’s struggling. He also spoke about the struggle for Hispanics to get the help they actually need.
“I was fortunate to have health insurance and it took 20 calls and a dedicated psychiatrist to get me a therapist,” Elvira said. “It’s important for us to look for organizations that are embedded within our community to speak to you and for you about getting help.”
The opportunity of Elvira’s guest column may open some eyes for people to perhaps be more open with struggles of mental health.
“All it took for me was talking to one person to change the trajectory I was on,” Elvira said. “I’m hoping I can be that one person for someone else.”