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Why Mental Health Remains Taboo In The Latino Community

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While progress has been made, mental health is still a taboo topic in the Latino community.

It's Mental Health Awareness Week. For many in the Latino community, despite progress made, mental health remains a taboo topic.

Amy Osorio-Ayala and Amira Rupnick are both students in Milwaukee. Both are passionate about raising awareness around mental health, especially in the Latino community.

Osorio-Ayala believes one reason mental health isn’t spoken about much in the Latino community is because people aren’t educated on it. And it’s seen as a bad thing.

"It's like a bad word like 'no.' There's no reason why you should be depressed. There's no reason why you should feel this way. Especially because as women in the Latino community, we do so much — we're mothers, we're sisters, we work, we're students. And it's very difficult to have a 'day off' to be able to feel how we feel," Osorio-Ayala explains.

Why Mental Health Remains Taboo In The Latino Community
An extended interview with Amy Osorio-Ayala and Amira Rupnick that aired on Lake Effect. They speak about their personal struggles with mental illness and creating mental health awareness in the Latino community.

People experiencing symptoms of mental illness are often seen as crazy. Rupnick says they’re also seen as ungrateful.

"Because you're not appreciating everything good that you have. So instead of appreciating, you're sad — 'Like why are you sad? If you have a roof over your head? If you have a body that functions?' It's stuff like that because then you do second guess, you're like, 'Wow, like, I'm feeling like this while I have this, other people are dealing with worse,' " Rupnick says.

The Medical College of Wisconsin will be hosting the annual Depression Recognition Day on Tuesday.

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Angelina Mosher Salazar joined WUWM in October 2018 as the Eric Von Fellow. She became a reporter for WUWM News in October 2019.