Latino Health Issues. Latino Health Surprises and Strengths. Public Policy that affects and influences Latinos and health . How we define, engage and protect our own health . All of these issues — and more — will be part of the discussion this month.
And, perhaps most important, how these issues affect us and our day to day lives.
Health is applicable to every area of our being — we talk about emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health . We also discuss our financial health .
I chose this issue for this month, January, since health issues — and getting “healthier” in a number of ways — seem to be on everyone’s minds.
We take up exercise (or head back to the gym), promise to get out of debt, or perhaps even think about going to church more, sticking with a meditation program or getting “toxic” folks out of our life.
Health is about our environment as a whole, not just the physical environment, but also the psychic environment — who we let in our lives an influence our energy. And these health issues are sometimes out of our control. We’ll also consider what in our world influences our health in our communities — asthma, environmental toxins, our housing, etc.
There are community health centers that focus on, and cater to, Latino populations. These centers often (but not always) understand that Latinos may think very differently about health issues.
For example, Latinos have for a long time understood at some level that our emotions influence our health , and vice versa. You can probably think of some examples of this.
Some of our families’ “superstitious” ways and folk medicine have been remedies for the things that ail us.
And although in certain ways Latino communities have been very progressive from a health angle, in other ways, we have been less than open.
Mental health issues have long been a stigma in our communities — sometimes to the extent that we refuse to acknowledge even in our own families that something might be drastically wrong. Issues such as schizophrenia, depression and manic disorders may not be recognized at all.
And our sexual health and well-being is something that is also not often addressed.
How do we take care of our own health , and do so in a way that encourages not only our own well-being, but that of those in our communities as well?
This month we’ll hear from women who work in different health arenas, and find out what issues they see, and how they deal with health concerns in their own lives.
What about YOU? In what ways do you want to get healthier? What are your challenges, and what are your strengths? Go for it, chica! This is the year to become the most Powerful Latina yet…