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Younger Latinos are struggling with their mental health. Phoenix nonprofit offers resources

Roberto del Real is the director of community services for Chicanos por la Causa, a nonprofit that supports Latinos in the community. He says he’s seen an increase in young people struggling with social anxiety or depression.

"Eighty percent of the clients are Latinos," he said. "A lot of them are first generation, second generation. Language barriers are an issue. Stigma of behavioral health is another issue."

Del Real says many parents are just trying to get by, so mental health may not be on the radar.

"They don't have time for these things. They've been through their own struggles so it's hard to believe, ‘my kid’s depressed, my kid has anxiety,'" he said.

So, a lot of what he does is educate parents. They also have bilingual therapists because "it’s just easier to express yourself in Spanish sometimes."

The pandemic, as well as dealing with feelings of not belonging, are some reasons why more young people are struggling.

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KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.