Breaking the Cycle of Stigma – Bilingual Training for Suicide Prevention

Oct 11, 2023 | 
Hispanic Heritage Month

I came into a new position at Lines for Life earlier this year and established the bilingual community training program. It was important that we network and build relationships with community partners right away for the program to be successful.

We started offering QPR training in Spanish as well as QPR in English for those serving Latinx communities, presenting specific data and information about how to better serve these communities. We now also offer Mental Health First Aid trainings in Spanish and in English with some information on culturally specific data and needs. These trainings are offered to the public at no cost through a federal grant from SAMHSA.

Culturally, a lot of us come in with preconceived notions that mental health issues are happening “over there” or to other people – not us and our families.

Stigma can happen in a cycle in our community, where something happens and no one talks about it – and then something happens to someone else, and they’ve never heard about it before, so they don’t talk about it either – and we create this feeling of isolation for anyone struggling with mental health issues.

The reality is that many people in our community are struggling, and once that’s out in the open, we have an opportunity to learn the skills to support each other better.

Partnering with school districts has helped us to reach many parents who only speak Spanish, and to connect with them about how to support their kids. When we offer a training that’s free, quick, and accessible in Spanish, we end up reaching parents and community members who are shocked about the prevalence of suicide in our communities.

Because of our new bilingual training program, anyone can get trained in QPR and Mental Health First Aid for free and leave with the knowledge and skills to talk openly about mental health and suicide in the Latinx community.

Join an Upcoming Virtual Training

QPR in Spanish for Latinx Communities
Thursday October 26, 5-7pm Pacific
QPR in English for Latinx Cultural Awareness
Wednesday October 25, 10am-12pm Pacific
Mental Health First Aid in Spanish for Latinx Communities
Tuesday November 28, 8am-4pm Pacific

Support is Available

Advocating for culturally responsive healthcare, including mental health access and expertise, is imperative to improve outcomes in our communities. Lines for Life’s Equity programs partner with community organizations to provide training and support and create networks of culturally responsive services throughout Oregon and beyond.

By Jenny, Bilingual Community Training Specialist

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