Download Full Text (265 KB)


Mexican Americans, or Chicanos and Chicanas, face many barriers to mental health care. This literature review was conducted by the Collective Corazón—a VCU student organization, mentored by Dr. Indira Sultanić, that addresses Latinx health equity through service and advocacy—in order to examine the underlying causes and consequences of disparities in mental health in Chicanos and Chicanas. Some of the barriers that affect mental health care in Mexican Americans are racial inequities and discrimination, the societal and/or cultural stigma associated with receiving care, language barriers, lack of health insurance, and legal status. Furthermore, among Chicanos, machismo culture is associated with an increased risk for depression and higher stress levels. Colorism has also been correlated with depression among Chicanos with darker skin phenotypes. Cultural identity also plays a role in mental health for Mexican Americans; a balance of Mexican and American culture is associated with a decreased risk for depression. Among Chicanas, there may be justified mistrust of healthcare systems and services due to historical events. The Latina paradox also has unintended health consequences; Latina women are not screened for prenatal depression as often as other ethnic groups. Lastly, are mental health resources for Latinx communities, like Therapy for Latinx and The Focus on You. However, this review argues that in order to reduce the mental health disparities that Chicanos and Chicanas face, there must be increased awareness of the disparities as well as changes in the healthcare system that address current inequities and barriers.

Publication Date



Chicanos, Chicanas, Latinx communities, mental health, maternal health, health inequities


Community Health | Maternal and Child Health | Other Public Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Indira Sultanić


© The Author(s)

Mental Health among Chicanos and Chicanas: Barriers to Mental Health Care, Consequences of Disparities, and Resources