According to the 2016 Merced County Community Health Assessment, Hispanic and Latino residents reported higher rates of chronic depressive symptoms than White counterparts, despite having lower diagnosis rates. The community’s youth are also vulnerable, with more than 34 percent of Latino teens in Merced County reporting depression-related feelings almost every day for two weeks or more, according to KidsData.
Too often, Guillen said, Latino and immigrant families get used to operating under stressful conditions and fail to recognize the signs of more serious mental health disorders like depression, anxiety or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
LCFF goals include increasing student test scores and English comprehension, providing clean, safe and secure learning environments and increasing parent participation. Parents are also supposed to have a say in how local schools carry out their LCAP, a goal Corchado and other local advocates say is essential for Merced families.
“All the parents we work with have always wanted to participate in their kids education. They’ve always wanted to get involved in the school but they just didn’t know how,” she said.