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Hispanic Heritage Month

History

For one month, from September 15th to October 15th, there is a national observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. This month is dedicated to the celebration of the history, culture, and contribution of the Hispanic community in the United States. 

The Hispanic community makes up about 18.3% of the U.S. population. Among the Hispanic community, nearly 16% report a mental illness. Only about 15% of the Hispanic population seek out mental health services, and only about 5% of those receive services from a mental health specialist, with a majority receiving service from a physician

While barriers to services include language, mental health stigma, and access to insurance, the EKU psychology clinic is committed to helping our Hispanic community overcome these barriers and reduce stigmas regarding mental health. Through education, cultural competency training, providing care for the Hispanic Community through our therapy services, providing community resources, and working to increase translators and bilingual clinicians in our clinic.


Outreach Resources

El Centro de San Juan Diego is a service located at 1389 Alexandria Dr, Lexington, KY 40504. El Centro offers educational classes, services, and workshops, such as English language classes, parenting classes, family nutrition, after-school tutoring, emergency preparedness, fair housing opportunities. They also provide medical activities such as fundamental physical therapy; basic hearing tests; basic eye exams; monitoring of blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. Counseling and legal services such as individual and family counseling for depression, addiction, marriage and family issues, etc; legal services for immigration, vehicle purchases, housing purchases; Notary Public Services; Consular Activities are also provided. Finally El Centro provides faith-related activities including family celebrations such as baptisms, first communion, confirmation, marriage, and quinceaneras; Bible studies; prayer services; weekly adoration; faith formation for youth and young adults; missionary disciples workshop. More information can be found on the El Centro de San Juan Diego website . For more information, contact: 859-692-1229 or email jbennett@cdsjd.org.

EKU Latino Outreach and Retention is a part of the Center for Inclusive Excellence and Global Engagement and is located at 521 Lancaster Avenue, Powell 13, Richmond, KY 40475. From EKU Latino Outreach and Rentention: “The purpose of the Latino Student Association is to provide education about the diversity of Latino culture, to organize and to promote Latino cultural events and holidays, and to actively engage in advocacy and activism that promote access to higher education for Latino students. LSA at EKU seeks to create a community where incoming Latino students find support and encouragement on campus”. EKU Latino Outreach and Rentention can be contacted by phone at (859) 622-7401or by email at multicultural@eku.edu. More information can be found under the EKU Latino Outreach and Rentention tab on EKU’s website 

The EKU Latino student association is a student-led informative and social organization EKU students have the opportunity to be involved in. From EKU Latino student association: “The Purpose of LSA is to provide education about the diversity of Latino culture, organize and promote Latino cultural events and holidays, and actively engage in advocacy and activism that promote access to higher education for Latino students. LSA at EKU seeks to create a community where incoming Latino students find support and encouragement on campus”. The EKU Latino Student Association is located at 521 Lancaster Avenue McCreary Hall, Tower C, Room 221, Richmond, KY 40475, and can be contacted via phone (859-622-6435), email (latinostudentassociation.eku@gmail.com), Instagram (@lsa_eku), and a public Facebook group (EKU - Latino Student Association). More information can be found under the Latino Student Association tab on EKU’s website and in an Organization Spotlight article by Eastern Progress 

The EKU Counseling Center provides the Support without Borders: Multicultural and International Student Support Group, which is an affirming support group for multicultural students and international students. This is a weekly virtual support group provided by the EKU Counseling Center and hosted through a secure video platform”. This recurring meeting is held on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00pm. Interested students can contact Andri.Yennari@eku.edu 15 minutes prior to group start time in order to receive the meeting Zoom link. For more information, email Andri.Yennari@eku.edu, call (859)-622-1303, or visit the EKU Counseling Center website 

Additionally, scholarships applicable to EKU students within the Hispanic community can be found on EKU’s website and are listed below:

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund
  • Dr. Rodney Gross Scholarship
  • EKU Merit-Based Scholarships/EKU Becas de Merito Academico
  • EKU Transfer Scholarship/ EKU Becas de Transferimiento

 

Mental health in the Hispanic Community

Among the Hispanic community, nearly 16% report a mental illness. However, only about 15% of the Hispanic population seek out mental health services with a majority receiving mental health services from a physician. Mental health issues are on the rise among the Hispanic population ages 12 to 19. It is also estimated that about 8.6% of Hispanic 18 to 25year olds had serious thoughts of suicide. Additionally, the Hispanic community faces many barriers to receiving mental health services. Poor communication, biases among health care providers, lack of insurance , and stigma regarding mental health among the most prominent barriers. The EKU psychology clinic is committed to helping the Hispanic community overcome these barriers and reduce stigmas regarding mental health. 

What is the EKU Psychology Clinic doing for the Hispanic Community:
We are committed to training clinicians to gain competence with and provide evidence-based, ethical clinical services for the broad spectrum of diverse clients, including the Hispanic community. In addition to the services we offer, we provide educational resources to the Richmond community and the surrounding areas and are working to increase translators and bilingual clinicians to better serve the Spanish speaking community.


Why we celebrate

We celebrate Hispanic heritage month in September as many important dates in Latin American history occurred during this month. September 15th is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16th and September 18th, respectively. This month is dedicated to honoring the cultural richness and countless contributions that Hispanics have brought about to the U.S. With a population of more than 60.6 million people, equivalent to 18.5% of the U.S. population, it is hard to ignore the influence of Latin culture in everyday life through music, food, dance, science, art, economics, politics and other fields. Hispanic Heritage month is a great time to get informed and involved with all the great things the Hispanic culture has to offer.

Ways to celebrate

With an ever changing world, one of the best ways to celebrate Hispanic heritage month is through activism. Getting involved through organizations such as the Hispanic Federation is one of the best ways to celebrate Latinos. Together, we can make a difference in Hispanic’s everyday lives and we can be one step closer to building a free, diverse and just country for all.

Information about festivals and events happening throughout the month of September can be found through the Hispanic Heritage website. Many fun virtual and in person, COVID friendly, events are included and are another great way to celebrate Hispanic heritage month. Supporting Hispanic owned small businesses can also be a unique way to partake during this celebratory month. Listening to Spanish podcasts, music and even taking a Spanish or dance class are more fun ways to get involved. Many museums are also organizing Hispanic heritage events through art exhibits such as through the Smithsonian. If you rather stay in and enjoy the comfort of your own home, a Spanish movie or show is always a great option.

 

How to be an ally during and outside of Hispanic Heritage month

There are many ways to be a supportive ally during and outside of Hispanic Hertiage month. A brief overview of this comprehensive notion includes educating oneself on Hispanic culture, understanding important terminology, checking one’s personal biases, and taking time to appreciate and experience the Hispanic community and its’ extensive culture. Caribbean Latina author Anahi Ortiz-Prieto writes a more detailed look into her perspective on how to be a supportive ally for the Hispanic community that individuals seeking information on allyship may find helpful.
 

Published on October 01, 2021

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