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Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15

September 2005

Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18.

According to the latest Census information, one in eight people in the United States is of Latino origin.  By 2050, the number of Latinos living in the U.S. is predicted to increase to 97 million, constituting nearly one-fourth of the population.  

Unfortunately, as many studies document, Latinos face formidable barriers to receiving much-needed mental health treatment, and often times receive inadequate care.  The need for culturally competent treatment for the Latino community is not being appropriately addressed. As a result, thousands of Latinos with mental illness and their families have to struggle against an often biased and insensitive system.

NAMI is here to help.  There are many fact sheets and materials about mental health in Spanish online at In addition, NAMI is proud to introduce our new Spanish language newsletter, Avanzamos!  This quarterly magazine features news from NAMI states and affiliates, research and policy updates specific to Latino issues, educational resources, personal stories, and more. It also makes a great outreach tool to your local Latino community.   To learn how to subscribe to this publication, please visit


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