Report: Obstacles complicate Latinos’ access to mental health services

Bobby DeLeon, counselor at Nyssa High School, says the mental health system runs up agains cultural values and other factors in the communities he serves. (Liliana Frankel/The Enterprise)

VALE – A recent state report about mental health in the Latino community showed that while Latino youth are seeking mental healthcare at high rates, there is still a lack of services in rural areas like Malheur County, where 33% of the population is Latino. 

Malheur County has the second-highest ratio of Latino to other residents by county in Oregon. Of counties with a high population of Latinos, it has the third-highest ratio of residents to mental healthcare providers – 1,223 to 1. Experts say that this isn’t enough. 

“Access to any mental health providers, especially culturally specific mental health providers, is particularly scarce . . .