Inside The Mental Health Stigma In The Latino Community

04/27/2015 12:15 pm ET | Updated Apr 27, 2015

While discussions of mental health have grown in prominence in popular culture, the issue still carries stigma in many communities, including the Latino community. And that has real repercussions for those in need of assistance: among Latinos with mental disorders, fewer than 1 in 11 seek the help of mental health care specialists to discuss their symptoms.

During a HuffPost Live conversation on Thursday, mental health activist Dior Vargas said many Latinos are skeptical towards the concept altogether.

"People of color have this mistrust when it comes to the mental health profession or just the healthcare system in general," she told host Nancy Redd on Thursday. "A lot of times people are more severely diagnosed [or] overmedicated and so again it really depends."

Growing up in a Latino household, Vargas said that conversations about mental illness and the avenues for treatment were rare. Despite the stigma, Vargas eventually found a solution to help overcome her own battle with depression and anxiety.

"Treatment is different for everyone and so for me, medication was helpful because I was able to feel more in charge of myself and be able to go through life without struggling every day," she said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about mental health medication for women here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.


If you have a story about living with mental illness that you'd like to share with HuffPost readers, email us at Please be sure to include your name and phone number.

Also on HuffPost:

9 People Who Have Changed The Conversation Around Mental Health
Suggest a correction