Retriever Integrated Health is excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! To kick things off, staff shared information about the significance of celebrating the month beginning on the 15th and held a fun discussion about their favorite dishes from Hispanic countries, like Cuban coffee made in a colador, Dominican mofongo, chicken ropa vieja, and tamales! Celebrating the wide variety of cultures, food, art, music, dance, traditions, achievements, and contributions of Hispanic and Latine people and countries is an important part of celebrating the people who make up the UMBC community!
As the campus center for medical and mental health needs, RIH also recognizes the importance of acknowledging the many barriers that Hispanic and Latine people face when trying to access services, leading to disparities in health and healthcare.
Stigma within Hispanic and Latine communities can create a reluctance to access mental health services and increases feelings of shame for those who want to seek help.
The rates of suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts are rising among Hispanic and Latine young adults, though they remain lower than the overall rates for young adults in the U.S.
In 2022, Hispanic and Latine folx had the highest uninsured rates of any racial/ethnic group in the U.S., leading to 10% of Hispanic and Latine adults reporting an inability to get needed medical care due to cost.
It is with this in mind that RIH encourages Hispanic and Latine students to reach out to schedule needed medical and mental health appointments! RIH medical services include sick care as well as preventative care (including immunizations). RIH counseling services are free and confidential for students. For students who have questions about insurance, RIH has specialists to support students who need to enroll in the UMBC plan or Medicaid. There are also a number of community organizations in the Baltimore area that provide bilingual medical and mental health resources and community outreach such as CentroSOL and Latino Providers Network. These resources can be accessed by not just UMBC students but also the greater community.
Students can also get involved on campus by joining the Hispanic Latino Student Union or the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers!