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Sept. 15 marked the beginning of National Latinx Heritage Month, which will continue through Oct. 15, making this a particularly good time of year to enrich your social feed with Latinx therapists and mental health experts on Instagram. This year especially, having a diverse and dynamic mental health support system built into your digital world is crucial. (Just look around.)
Representation in the mental health field matters. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 20% of Latinos with symptoms of a psychological disorder will talk to their doctor about it, and only 10% will reach out to a mental health professional. In 2013, only around 5% of psychologists in the U.S. identified as Hispanic, an increase from decades prior.
Organizations like Latinx Therapy and Therapy For Latinx are closing the gap by connecting Latinx patients with therapists who can understand their culture — and the mental health stigma that’s all too prevalent in Latinx communities.
“Growing up in a very Latinx household, I know that there are some topics that were completely off the table,” says therapist Genesis Games, L.M.H.C. She adds that when she was younger, having access to quality mental health information from professionals for free would have been a game changer.
“Information on such a huge platform can increase people’s comfort and understanding that mental health is universal, Stephanie Villaseñor, L.M.F.T., a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
“Since launching Latinx Therapy in 2018, I have noticed an increase in demand for services,” Adriana Alejandre, L.M.F.T., founder of Latinx Therapy, tells Bustle. “There’s more interest from younger generations in the field, and I think a big part of this is due to social media, and the mental health accounts that have [been] increasing awareness of services and myths that exist in the culture,” Alejandre says, adding that most of her clients tell her they found her through Instagram.
Games believes that many Latinx patients initiated therapy because of their exposure to it on Instagram. “It’s not just the access to information, but also getting to know the therapist beforehand — learning their style and approach before you even get on the phone with them, removes a lot of the anticipatory anxiety.”
Supporting the Latinx mental health provider network on Instagram helps to promote not only their resources, but also their reach. Here are 11 Latinx therapists and mental health experts to follow and endorse for a mix of informative and supportive content.
Brandie Carlos is the founder of Therapy for Latinx, an organization that helps Latinx community members find mental health resources and providers who are also part of the community. A mental health advocate, Carlos posts valuable information about finding help, fighting stigma and how to express your emotions, without fear. Therapy for Latinx posts infographics, quotes, and other resources to help you along your mental health journey. Follow for epically honest captions that make Instagram seem less like a sea of strangers and more like a community of supporters.
Latinx Therapy is a podcast and organization that helps to pair patients of the Latinx community with mental health providers. It posts information-rich content that breaks down heavy and complicated topics like suicidal ideation and managing anxiety during a pandemic. This account also regularly goes Live with talks between mental health experts on a variety of topics.
Nalgona Positivity Pride is run by Gloria Rinis, and is dedicated to eating disorder awareness and body positivity. Follow for educational and relatable pertaining to self love and body acceptance, plus resources for virtual support group meetings and easy ways to get help online.
Genesis Games, L.M.H.C. regularly posts vital information for first-generation Latinx and immigrants. She offers resources targeted to this group about common struggles and shared experiences. Many of her posts are compact lessons on emotional health that make complex subjects easy to understand and relate to.
Lorena Ramos, M.A., L.C.S.W., is a bilingual therapist and emotional development coach. While Ramos specializes in trauma-focused therapy, coaching, and supportive services to women, her feed features a curation of inspiring collection of empowering quotes and reminders to prioritize self care that are applicable for all.
Stephanie Villaseñor, L.C.S.W., is a licensed marriage and family therapist who posts about boundaries, individual healing, mindfulness, and overcoming trauma. She also focuses on normalizing mental health initiatives for the Latinx community.
Jaqueline Mendez, A.A.S.E.C.T., is a certified sex therapist, licensed marriage and family therapist, and a professional life coach. On her Instagram feed, she posts thought provoking quotes about feminism, sexuality, and self-care.
This Instagram account shares a holistic approach to mental health, blending both natural wellness and psychotherapy together, to connect with people who prefer a non-traditional introduction to therapy.
Dr. Janet Brito, A.A.S.E.C.T., is a certified sex therapist, licensed in clinical psychology and social work. Her Instagram is a parade of sex-positive information that everyone should have sprinkled in their feed. From information on pandemic sex drives (or lack thereof) to sexual health resources, Brito is a one-stop-shop for all things sex ed.
Therapist Genesis Espinoza, M.A., L.M.F.T. shares resources on mental health and educates her followers about therapeutic practices and terminology, so they can better understand how her practice works. Espinoza specializes in individual therapy for teens and adults, and offers resources and support for immigration evaluation for asylum, as well as extreme hardship waivers.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Natalie Y. Gutierrez, L.M.F.T., specializes in complex PTSD diagnoses, but shares a combination of resources for generalized therapy and social justice for marginalized communities. She is also often in discussion with other therapists and will share the videos in her Stories.