Tyler non-profit immigration program assists with mental health challenges
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
TYLER, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - In recent years, talking about mental health has become more common, making it easier to shine a light on challenges people face every day.
We are halfway through Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and an East Texas non-profit is assisting minority groups with the challenges they see every day, many without even realizing it.
The Hand Up Network serves 37 counties across East Texas. Besides running a retail store, they also offer different services from programs for domestic violence survivors to immigration services. Flor Nichols, Director of the immigration program at the non-profit, said she hears about mental health issues brought up daily but there’s a hesitance towards getting help.
“In our community especially in the Hispanic community, there’s a stigma about mental illness and/or they’re afraid. They think that if they share their issues with a counselor or psychiatrist that all the family secrets are going to come out. Sometimes that’s what it is but they just don’t understand that they need that help,” said Nichols.
According to the CDC, the following are some of the many obstacles minorities face when it comes to mental health.
• Cost of health insurance
• Finding counselors within their race or ethnicity
• Stigma around mental health
• Language barriers
“In the Hispanic community, families are really not aware of the services that are available for them in the mental health area or just sometimes don’t want the service,” said Nichols.
The Hand Up Network started their immigration program last year and they have seen a spike in Hispanic clients using their victim services, which include mental health services. More than 60 percent of the clients in that program are Hispanic, and Nichols said support is there when clients decide to seek help.
“When people in our community make that decision to seek help that they just jump. They just do it, they just ask for it theirs a lot of people that are here and that we love them and we are here to help and we are not here to judge.”
When clients are sent to the Hand Up Victims program for mental health assistance they can choose from a counselor provided to them or request counseling from outside the program.
If you are interested in the resources the non-profit provides you can click here.
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