Puerto Ricans And Mental Illness Essay

668 words - 3 pages

“According to the U.S. Surgeon general’s 2001 Report, Mental Health services are underutilized by ethnic minority groups. Moreover the recommendation in that report suggested that mental health issues must be understood in a cultural context in order to insure access to mental health services by all populations” (Rojas-Vilches & et al., 2011). The Puerto Rican culture has specific practices and traditions that allow for maintenance, restoration and protection of mental health and illness. “Beliefs about mental illness appear to vary across cultures. One belief that seems particularly detrimental to the pursuit of seeking professional help is related to stigma” (Rojas-Vilches & et ...view middle of the document...

Religious jewelry such as the cross and other religious pendants may be worn. For example, “the Mano Negro is placed on the baby’s wrist on a chain or pinned to the diaper or shirt is worn throughout early years of life” to ward of the evil eye and protect the infant (Spector, 2013). Many Catholics use rosary beads and prayer to protect their family. In addition to the use of holy water and ashes placed on the body. Catholics also believe in setting a good example by doing good deeds and committing no sins.
The restoration of mental health illness is based partly upon the Puerto Rican population’s generation. For example, older generations are more prone not to seek mental illness treatment because they see the illness as untreatable, while the younger generation is more willing to seek out medical care. During times of mental illness both generations use a strong family support system as well as the support of the Catholic Church for treatment. Visitations can be made to the Catholic Church and holy lands for the request of healing the sick....

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