Latinx Heritage Month provides the opportunity to not only come together to celebrate our cultural pride, but also to shed light on the ongoing challenges that the Latinx community faces when it comes to mental health.

Latinx individuals make up a very diverse group of people with many different experiences. However, we believe that recognizing and sharing the similar struggles of balancing our cultural heritage and dismantling mental health stigmas within our community is crucial.

Take a look at this playlist that highlights those in the Latinx community who have battled with mental health struggles, and continue to advocate to fight stigmas within the Latinx community.

“Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz,” [But if someone is going through a difficult situation, you are not alone, the light always comes through. Sooner or later the light comes], said J Balvin, during the interlude of “La Canción” at his Arcoiris concert.

If you have ever experienced anxiety, you are not alone. Selena Gomez, J Balvin, Jennifer Lopez, and Bruno Mars are four Latinx artists who have talked about living with some degree of anxiety.

Whether it be anxiety stemming from social media usage, relationships, or the pressure of producing something perfect, these Latinx artists have come forth to share their experiences.

With that said, if you are a Latinx student at USC, here are some resources available to you: La CASA’s virtual safe space, the Latinx Leadership Roundtable, and USC Student Health’s “Let’s Talk” Sessions. If you want to learn more about these and other resources, check out Jillian Russell’s story "USC offers mental health resources for Latinx students as they resume online learning.

Depression

Talking about emotions is not always a common part of Latinx culture, however, changing the lack of knowledge and understanding of mental health, like depression, within our culture is always possible.

The circumstances we face today, forced isolation, job loss, school and business closure, as well as food insecurity have impacted our Latinx community greatly.

Though some of these songs may contain the message to stay strong during difficult times, other songs remind us that it is normal to not always feel okay, humanizing the process of mental health. We hope that with the artists in this playlist, listeners are reminded that the fight over mental health continues, that nobody is alone, and that hope for a safer, healthier state of mind does exist for anyone who is struggling.

Drug/Alcohol Abuse

Substance abuse is a prevalent issue among the Latinx youth. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, around 1.1 million Latinx youth used illicit drugs during 2018. Also, it is common in the Latinx community to start drinking at a young age.

These habits are hard to break, yet if continued, they can lead to serious consequences, such as an increased risk for HIV and hepatitis B and C from continued drug use and alcohol poisoning, strokes, high blood pressure, and cancer of the liver from excessive drinking.

Despite the possible consequences, the Latinx community has less access to substance abuse treatment and must wait longer to access services than non-Latinx people. This is in part due to lack of cultural sensitivity. Implementing bilingual or Spanish speaking activities will allow for better treatment programs and better outcomes for Latinx folks who live with substance addiction.

If you or a loved one are facing any substance use disorders, call 1-800-487-4889, a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish and receive referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

La Lupe, the Queen of Latin Soul, and Hector Lavoe, Puerto Rican salsa singer, were two Latinx artists that struggled with substance abuse. I hope their music moves you and you are reminded to take care of your mind and body.

Bipolar Disorder

Only 20% of Latinx individuals in the U.S. with symptoms of a psychological disorder talk to a doctor about their concerns, and only 10% contact a mental health specialist, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness; bipolar disorder is one of them.

Disparities within the Latinx community such as stigma, lack of cultural knowledge, and lack of treatment hinder the overall care for battling severe issues such as bipolar disorder. Specifically, treatment disparity puts Hispanics with bipolar disorder at high risk for the poor outcomes associated with non-treatment or inadequate treatment.

Bad Bunny brought attention to the death of another trans woman “Yo Perreo Sola”


According to the magazine Psychology Today, over 41% of trans men and women are estimated to have attempted suicide. Mental health problems within the transgender and LGBTQ+ community can stem from discrimination, stigma, lack of acceptance, and abuse faced on a regular basis. Within the Latinx community, there is less acceptance and more negative perception of LGBTQ+ folks which can place pressures on their mental health.

It is important to recognize, acknowledge and support the existence of the LGBTQ+ folks within the Latinx community and increase inclusivity with simple changes to our everyday lives including heteronormative and binary norms and the use of derogatory language, which causes exclusion of these marginalized individuals.

List of Latinx Artists who have suffered from Mental Health problems:

  1. Selena Gomez: depression, anxiety. Songs: “Rare”, “Fun” and “Vulnerable”
  2. Demi Lovato: bipolar disorder, addiction, anorexia, bulimia and self-harm. Songs: “I Love Me” and “Ok Not to Be Ok” featuring Marshmello
  3. Bad Bunny: Songs: “Yo Perreo Sola” and “Estamos Bien”
  4. Entropica: Song: “Celi”
  5. Mariah Carey: bipolar II disorder. Song: “I Am Free”
  6. Jennifer Lopez: severe anxiety. Songs: “Feelin' So Good” feat. Fat Joe, Big Pun
  7. J Balvin: panic attacks and depression. Song: “La Canción” feat. Bad Bunny
  8. Luis Coronel: depression, father’s sudden death and relationship breakup. Songs: “Para No Acordarme de Ella” and “Tal Como Eres”
  9. Ana Barbara: depression during pregnancy, anorexia. Songs: “Dos Abrazos”
  10. Bruno Mars: anxiety. In “24K Magic” he talks about the pressures he felt producing this album after “Uptown Funk” was such a hit/wanted songs to be beyond perfect.
  11. La Lupe: drug and alcohol abuse. Songs: “Tu Vida es Un Escenario”
  12. Hector Lavoe: drug abuse. Songs: “Rey de la Puntualidad”