School Workers in Latino Communities Need Mental Health Training

KQED Radio News

California should train more school personal working with young Latinos to be on the lookout for mental health issues. A UC Davis study commissioned by The California Department of Mental Health finds too many Latino adolescents with mental illnesses are getting disciplined as the ‘problem kids at school.’

One way to help the kids is to provide schools with a curriculum that will teach educators how to identify things like depression and anxiety, said Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, the lead author and Director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities.

It can be the teacher that is trained on how to deliver this information,” Aguilar-Gaxiola said. “Or it can be the nurse, the school nurse. Someone that is familiar with this information.”

Aguilar-Gaxiola says even though Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California, they’re one of the most under-served communities when it comes to mental health. Access to insurance and language services are part of the problem. As is stigma associated with mental illness in the community.

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