Being an individual that has a passion for studying mental health as it relates to inner city African-American communities, I understand how an individual’s environment can affect his/her environment. As an individual from this community, I have seen first hand how lack of family, violence, and racial disparities that often home to black communities can affect an individual further creating some sort of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Individuals with a higher socioeconomic status per say have the ability to move out of environments that are damaging and have those broken window effects and into communities where quality health and wellness agencies are more accessible and the probability of an individual being in the line of danger by just walking down the street is unlikely. Because individuals do come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures, it is important for mental health professionals to be mindful of that when developing prevention approaches for a client. The text begins to speak on developmental theories and the fact that individuals’ environment can change. This makes it even more challenging for mental health professionals because even though an individual may have overcome their environment, issues from that past environment may have everything to do with their current mental health issues.

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Peer #1 Laura (50 words each, MLA format)

A person’s environment can affect mental health and wellness throughout his/her lifespan development. Environmental factors such as poverty, infrastructure, and local, regional, and national policies can influence mental health (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Likewise, to achieve mental health and wellness, it is important to understand how choices that individuals make are often a response to the options that are available within the context of their environment. Further, individuals and their environment can be adjusted and improved, individuals are affected by their environment, and the process of change occurs in a multidimensional capacity (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Some factors of influence can be foundational. These involve physical, environmental factors. This might include uncontrollable elements like noise, temperature, and pollution. Interestingly, these factors can affect a person’s mental health throughout his/her lifespan development. For example, if a person grows up in a polluted, noisy, inner city environment, studies report that it quadruples the individual’s chance of developing depression later in life (National Counseling Society, 2021). There are also social factors that impact an individual’s environment that can affect mental health and wellness. For example, if individuals grows up in a culture or home where they experience or witness domestic violence, are regularly bullied, or abuse in their environment, this can negatively affect their mental health and can continue throughout a lifespan (National Counseling Society, 2021). Likewise, growing up in a poverty-stricken environment often restricts access to a nutritious diet, or limits educational and occupational opportunities. These factors can lead to mental health issues involving frustration, excessive stress, and a poor self-esteem (National Counseling Society, 2021). As such, mental health workers need to understand the impact of the client’s culture and subculture when developing prevention approaches for that client. It’s essential for mental health workers to become capable at initiating preventive approaches at multiple points along the health prevention, promotion, and development continuum (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Likewise, as mental health workers continually develop cultural competence, it can help improve preventive ideas or methods that would offer successful, culturally responsive treatment (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2016). Understanding the impact of the client’s culture influences the initial point of contact, screening opportunities, assessment, cultural and linguistic competence, appropriate treatment options, and recovery support within a supportive community (SAMHSA, 2016). Further, understanding the client’s beliefs, experiences, and environments can help mental health workers best support the client throughout the therapeutic process, understand their expected role, and recognize other substance-related, mental health issues that the client presents with (SAMHSA, 2016).

References:

Juntunen, C.L. & Schwartz, J.P. (Eds). (2016). Counseling across the lifespan (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. https://viewer.gcu.edu/V6W8wF

National Counseling Society. (2021). How your environment affects your mental health. https://nationalcounsellingsociety.org/blog/posts/how-your-environment-affects-your-mental-health#:~:text=Environmental%20factors%20which%20affect%20your,of%20their%20associated%20environmental%20troubles.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA). (2016). Improving cultural competence-based on TIP 59. https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma16-4931.pdf

Peer #2 Clea

When looking at the Latinx Community it is important to understand their culture and how it impacts their mental health throughout their lifetime. The Hispanic community values: faith, family and culture.So for many that are immersed in a society that doesn’t match their beliefs/customs it can leave many feeling confused, stressed and depressed. “Latino students without a strong cultural identity are at high risk for depressive symptomatology and the most consistent indicators of mental well-being were for those with a bicultural orientation.” (Singer, M., Bulled, 2012). Having to immerse yourself in a new culture, plus hold tight to your own culture is not only confusing, but can wear on your own self-ideation not knowing which culture you should value more.

Many Hispanic families also are fearful of the police, being deported, or being treated poorly due to language barriers/discrimmination, so many will not seek help when needed. “Latinos are less likely to utilize mental health services and, when they do, less likely to receive evidence-based treatments than are non-Latinos.” (Cabassa, Zayas, & Hansen, 2006; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). Therefore, it is important to create trusted people in their communities that they can reach out to for help. Pastors, neighbors and those around them that are the most trusted will be the ones that they seek help from first. Being able to immerse yourself in their communities will help you be able to gain trust, which in turn will help you provide mental health support.

When you live and grow up in a high stress home/community it leaves you always on high-alert, you are never able to let your guard down. So for children that witness and deal with this on a daily basis it creates distrust for others and heavily weights on their coping mechanisms. “It is possible that the psychological stress experienced by Hispanics that is related to immigration or discrimination processes and their lack of access to skills and resources to cope with these stressors may lead to maladaptive behaviors such as substance abuse, relationship conflict, risky sexual behaviors, and depression.” (SAMHSA, 2021). To truly make an impact on the worldview of the Latinx communities, we need to understand their culture, their customs and how discrimmination and biases are affecting their future generations and base prevention models accordingly.

References

Carvajal, S. C., Hanson, C. E., Romero, A. J., & Coyle, K. K. (2002). Behavioural Risk Factors and Protective Factors in Adolescents: A Comparison of Latinos and Non-Latino Whites. Ethnicity & Health, 7(3), 181–193. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/1355785022000042015

Juntunen, C.L. & Schwartz, J.P. (Eds). (2016). Counseling across the lifespan (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. https://viewer.gcu.edu/V6W8wF

Singer, M., Bulled, N., Ostrach, B., Gonzalez-Guarda, R. M., McCabe, B. E., Vermeesch, A. L., Cianelli, R., Florom-Smith, A. L., & Peragallo, N. (2012). Cultural Phenomena and the Syndemic Factor: Substance Abuse, Violence, Hiv, and Depression among Hispanic Women. Annals of Anthropological Practice, 36(2), 212. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/napa.12001

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA). (2021).Double Jeopardy: Covid 19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino Communities. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/covid19-behavioral-health-disparities-black-latino-communities.pdf

Peer # 3 Jamal

Being an individual that has a passion for studying mental health as it relates to inner city African-American communities, I understand how an individual’s environment can affect his/her environment. As an individual from this community, I have seen first hand how lack of family, violence, and racial disparities that often home to black communities can affect an individual further creating some sort of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Individuals with a higher socioeconomic status per say have the ability to move out of environments that are damaging and have those broken window effects and into communities where quality health and wellness agencies are more accessible and the probability of an individual being in the line of danger by just walking down the street is unlikely. Because individuals do come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures, it is important for mental health professionals to be mindful of that when developing prevention approaches for a client. The text begins to speak on developmental theories and the fact that individuals’ environment can change. This makes it even more challenging for mental health professionals because even though an individual may have overcome their environment, issues from that past environment may have everything to do with their current mental health issues.

Juntunen, C. Shawrtz, J (2016) Counseling Across the Lifespan; prevention and treatment.(2) 2-17 https://viewer.gcu.edu/V6W8wF

 

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