Mental Health in Hispanic Culture

In modern society, mental health has become an easier topic to discuss and an important conversation in households. But, in minority households, mental health is still a taboo topic, specifically in Hispanic families due to stigmas around the topic. Speaking about one’s mental health can result in embarrassment and shame from family members, leading less people to seek the help they need.

Several factors add to the stigmatism around mental health and mental illness in Hispanic culture. As a Mexican-American, while growing up in the United States, I could see the barriers between cultures. The lack of access of information in Spanish or other dialects is a big barrier to getting the mental health help necessary. When there is a lack of understanding or resources for serious topics, it can lead to difficulty to get the help needed. Also, the lack of affordable healthcare or being uninsured is an even bigger issue in the United States. According to, Nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured and of that number 18.3% are Hispanic, resulting in Hispanics being the biggest group of uninsured people of color.

Another big factor causing this issue are gender roles within the culture, such as machismo and marianismo. Machismo is the concept of being extensively manly, based on courage and power. This concept motivates men to be aggressive and show dominance. Machismo is prominent in Hispanic culture and promotes toxic masculinity. Marianismo is the concept of submissiveness and hyper femininity. The concept has been pushed on women to accept machismo. Both concepts have exposed families to toxicity in the household. These concepts also require those to be strong and keep feelings to themselves, resulting in the lack of speaking out about emotions and seeking the help that is needed.

It can be difficult for people from all backgrounds to reach out and seek the help one needs to heal and help themselves. However, it is essential that sufficient resources are given to communities like this through having them available in different languages. By having resources for uninsured or even undocumented Hispanics, more people can get help. While reflecting on this topic, I am grateful that I have found my voice to speak about my emotions, something so many people struggle with. Speaking out and seeking help can be extremely beneficial to everyone from all cultures.