BOISE, Idaho — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on people's mental health, including the Spanish-speaking population in Idaho. When considering mental health resources, there are a number of barriers Spanish speakers face.
St. Luke’s and the Consulate of Mexico are addressing the issue by providing a bilingual informational mental health resource guide.
One of the reasons why Spanish-language speakers often face difficulty when accessing mental health is a lack of resources and the language barrier.
In an effort to change that, the guide, Help Is Here, addresses mental health concerns all across the state of Idaho, both in Spanish and English.
According to a recent report published by Mental Health America, suicide rates in Idaho are 48% higher than the national average. The report also states Idaho is ranked as one of the top states with mental health issues and the lowest-ranked for access to resources and support.
Another report by Idaho Kids Covered stated that one in five Idaho teens experienced depression in 2020 making it the highest rate in the country.
"As of 2020, nearly 20% of Idaho teens also struggled with depression which is actually the second-highest rate in the entire country. What's even more troubling about that 20% is that over 55% of those teens received no treatment and that's as of 2020. That rate increased to 61% in 2021”, said Cristian Corza, an outreach specialist for Idaho Voices for Children.
Ricardo Gerardo Higuera told KTVB that the guide was launched in hopes to bridge the gap of resources available to everyone in Idaho. The guide is available for download in both languages and a limited supply of printed copies can be found in health facilities in the area.
St. Luke’s and the Mexican Consulate hope this resource will help educate the community to reduce the stigma behind mental health.
If you or someone you know needs emergency mental health services, St. Luke’s and the Mexican Consulate encourage you to call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 208-398-4357.
The guide can also be accessed at https://www.stlukesonline.org/help.
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