The cultural “machismo” stereotype is upheld in many Latino households, forming a stigma around therapy and seeking help, which is often associated with weakness. When this practice is passed from one generation to the next, it becomes a difficult cycle to break. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, annually, 33% of Latinos suffering from a mental illness seek treatment, compared to the U.S. average of 43%. Gaithri Fernando is a psychology professor at California State University, Los Angeles, who recognizes how difficult having these conversations can be. “I hear many parents say, ‘If only [my kids] knew what I went through,’ and they don’t want to disclose those personal stories because of the trauma and they don’t want to burden their children,” he said.
Our birth experiences are often scary and challenging and not what we had expected. Modern medicine has made C-sections possible. And I will forever be grateful for having that option, it ultimately saved my baby’s life. It can be difficult to deal with things that don’t go as planned, especially when you are a first-time mother who is unprepared physically and mentally for a C-section birth. Not to mention all the things you need after the surgery to take care of the wound.
Not having enough Latino doctors means life or death for many gente. Here are solutions.