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Anxiety and Depression Risk among Mexican Immigrants

October 19, 2012

Depression is a major problem that affects many people each year. Virtually all walks of life can suffer from depression, and for many people treatment is not available. Poor people that need depression medicines can’t afford them and middle class teens that don’t need them take them. Groups like the poor have limited options with depression and almost no support. One such group of people that struggle with depression and treating it are Mexican immigrant farmworkers. The study I examined looked at stressors in immigrant communities and measured for levels of anxiety and depression.

Mexican immigrant farmworkers have several stresses to deal with all the time. For many workers that are in the United States illegally, the stress of following all laws and not being discovered is hard enough. The Catholic religion emphasizes guilt, creating stress from god. Big families mean tougher choices or more difficulty communicating between each other. The places that they stay at are dirty and shouldn’t be lived in, as they don’t have basic needs like a toilet or running water. Often these places are far from city centers or attractions, in a way trapping the workers at the farm. Most workers aren’t insured and have to worry about getting hurt or sick. The research conducted by the researchers in the article found Mexican immigrants are at high risk of depression and anxiety.  The researchers connected depression and anxiety with low levels of education, low religiousness, low desire or control over immigration, self-esteem, and social stressors. With the information presented by the study, what can be done to curve the results?

Several organizations have been setup in California and Oregon that are trying to promote Mexican immigrant community building. These organizations are working for the immigrant farmworkers to promote fairer wages, better housing, and more medical access. Better housing I feel is the most important aspect to improving the risk of anxiety and depression among Mexican immigrants. Moving the immigrants into a house with all the basic needs, within walking distance to attractions, and with family and friends would promote a more accepting feeling into American society. Access to medical care is important as well because if a Mexican immigrant does suffer from depression or anxiety then they should seek help from a professional without fear of cost or deportation. Sometimes a little piece of mind can be incredibly relieving.

Alexander J. Harmier

Hovey JD. & Magana C. “Acculturative stress, anxiety, and depression among Mexican immigrant farmworkers in the Midwest United States”. 2000.  Journal of immigrant health Vol.2(3). http://www.ncfh.org/pdfs/4878.pdf

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 23, 2012 4:20 am

    Mexican immigrants face many obstacles that many America’s could never dream of overcoming. The hard manual labor they often do for minimal pay, the poor living conditions and cramped housing, as well as cultural differences they face in the United States are all understandably factors in the mental health and stability of the Mexican immigrant. Also the fact that many mexican immigrants due to their illegal citizenship status will most likely not see any financial or social upward mobility. They cannot afford the healthcare or have no direct say in changing their environment to improve their mood and mental health.

    Kelsey Haus

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