208844 Latina Mothers' Mental Health Status

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:15 AM

Susan Brutschy , Applied Survey Research, Watsonville, CA
Applied Survey Research (ASR) worked with First 5 Santa Cruz County to create a Family Survey that investigated 350 Latina mothers about their quality of life, mental health, and family and community support. Survey findings revealed that approximately three percent of respondents have serious mental health symptoms. ASR conducted a telephone survey with families in Santa Cruz County who receive services through First 5 programs. The study represents an overwhelming majority of immigrant Latinas who have lived in the United States for less than 10 years, live below the federal poverty level, and have an average of 2.6 children living with them.

Preliminary data showed: 32% of respondents felt so sad that nothing could cheer them up; 37% felt that everything was an effort; 15% felt hopeless; 29% felt restless or fidgety; 30% felt nervous; 35% felt they were “rarely” or “never” able to turn to friends or family for help with parenting challenges; 50% reported “rarely” or “never” turning to friends or family members for help with partner problems; and 70% “never” used community agencies or programs to help with parenting challenges.

These data reveal that Latina's in Santa Cruz County are in need of mental health services but remain isolated. ASR is working with First 5 and partners to use this assessment as a springboard to action. As a result, First 5 is working to bring forth mental health resources, and parenting workshops for immigrant families in Santa Cruz County.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of telephone surveys for creating an environment in which Latina women are more likely to be forthcoming and honest about mental health issues. 2. Develop a family survey methodology that may be used in other communities. 3. Describe the use of data for prevention planning, engaging community partners and shaping interventions and strategies.

Keywords: Latinas, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the program manager of this research for the last 3 years
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.