Latino mental health statistics: Disparities, utilization, stigma


Latino mental health statistics are hard to come by. Seeking help with mental health or going to a therapist is a stigma in large parts of the Latino community.  There is also an educational gap as many Latinos aren’t familiar with the process and benefits of visiting a mental health professional.

Latino mental health disparities and utilization:

  • Latinos are a lower risk of most psychiatric disorders compared with non-Hispanic whites.
  • Latinos born in the US reporting having higher rates for most psychiatric disorders than Latino immigrants
  • Approximately 1 in 10 Latinos that have a mental disorder are using mental health services from a general health practitioner.  Only 1 in 20 specifically receive services from a mental health specialist.
  • Latinos are likely to say there is poor communication with their healthcare provider. Studies show patients that speak Spanish are evaluated different when interviewed in English.  Latinos are also frequently undertreated.
  • 21.1% of Latinos are uninsured compared to 7.% of white non-Hispanics.

Mental health disparities in Hispanic children and teens

  • Latino children are at a great risk of mental health problems. Often greater than white children.
  • In 2015, 18.9% of Latinos in grades 9 – 12 seriously thought about suicide.  15.7% made plans to attempt suicide.  11.3% attempted suicide.  4.1% attempted suicide and had a resulting injury, poisoning or overdose that needed medical attention. All these rates were consistently higher for Latinos than black and white students.
  • Latino teens are only half as likely as white teens to use antidepressants.
  • Latino and white teens between the ages of 12-17 were more likely than black or Asian teens to start alcohol or cigarette use in the past year. In 2014, 10% of white and Latino teens started using alcohol compared with 7.3% for black teens and 4.7% for Asian.  About 3.9% of Latino teens started using cigarettes compared to 3.5% for white teens, 2.2% for black teens and 1.5% for Asians.

Barriers to accessing mental healthcare

  • Not having insurance or having adequate insurance
  • Latinos aren’t aware about mental health problems and services
  • There is a language barrier for many Latinos that could benefit from mental health help
  • There is a lack of culturally tailored programs and services with mental health professionals that understand Latinos
  • Big shortage of bilingual mental health professionals.
  • Latinos have difficulty recognizing signs of mental illness.

Received mental health treatment in the past year by race/ethnicityLatino mental health treatment past year


Prevalence of mental illness among Latinos

Latino mental illness prevalence

Latino mental health statistics from the American Psychiatric Association


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