Skip to main content

Mental Health in Older Latinos Teaching Module

This teaching module contains PowerPoint slides with teaching notes, teaching script, and additional reference materials that include information related to Latino demographics and mental health. It discusses theories of underutilizing mental heath care by older Latinos due to language, self-reliant attitude, religious beliefs, attitudes or unfamiliarity of mental health services, Familismo, Machismo, respect, manifestation of mental illnesses (nervios, mal de ojo, susto, espanto, miedo), and the use of folk healers (curandero) and spirit mediums (espiritista). Also includes assessment tools such as culturagram, situational-environmental lens, developmental-adaptive lens, sociocultural lens, political-economic lens, neuro-biological lens; interventions (cognitive theory); developing trust (personalismo); and initial and final quizzes.

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  • Integration into the practice of social work an understanding of the life experiences and unique needs of older adults belonging to specific racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups; of men and women; and of those with different sexual orientations
  • Incorporation into treatment and service planning the relationship of race, ethnicity, and culture on health status; health belief; help-seeking behaviors; health practice (i.e., traditional medicine); and health outcomes. Include knowledge of:

(a) immigration and its impact on service use
(b) acculturation /assimilation

  • Ability to intervene sensitively and according to professional ethics to assist older adults and families who have diverse cultural, spiritual, and ethnic values and beliefs, including:

(a) different cultural perspectives, functional roles, and contributions the elderly                                 generation make in society
(b) the areas of help-seeking, caregiving and family responsibility, physical and mental illness, and cognitive impairment; and
(c) work with translators and knowledge of language/terminology unique or specific to                     diverse linguistic groups