Each week, Liner Notes selects five pieces of content that we think are important for those who are interested in language, culture, and diversity.

Report: It is Growing More Difficult to Find Spanish-Language Mental Health Services

It is Mental Health Awareness Month. A new study found that while the Hispanic population in the United States grew by almost 5% between 2014 and 2019, Spanish-language mental health services dropped by about 18% during that same time.

"Depressionanxiety or mental health overall, they're difficult topics. It's important to have a provider that not only can speak your language, but understand the culture in order to really improve health outcomes," said study co-author Martha Rojo. She is a clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock.

Documenting the issue is a first step, said study leader George Pro, a health services researcher at the university.

"Service utilization is low across the board" for mental health services, Pro said. "Within that low level, it's particularly low among Hispanic and underrepresented populations."

For the study, the research team used data from the National Mental Health Services Survey of more than 12,000 facilities. They found that the availability of Spanish-language services declined in 44 states, including those with the fastest Hispanic population growth: Oklahoma, North Dakota, Ohio, Kentucky and Maine.

While mental health facilities with clinical staff that provide Spanish-language mental health services dropped by 1,163 during those years, the Hispanic population grew by 5.2 million.

(LanguageLine Note: On-demand interpretation for mental-health sessions is readily available. It enables any mental-health professional to instantly provide care in Spanish or any of the other 240-plus languages we deliver. On-site, face-to-face interpreters can also come to a physical location.)

From U.S. News and World Report

Study: Immigrants in the U.S. Are More Likely to Start Firms, Create Jobs

Compared to native-born citizens, immigrants are more frequently involved in founding companies at all scales. A new study finds that, per capita, immigrants are about 80 percent more likely to found a firm, compared to U.S.-born citizens.

Immigrants to the U.S. are more likely to start businesses than native-born Americans are, according to a study that takes a wide-ranging look at registered businesses across the country.

Co-authored by an MIT economist, the study finds that, per capita, immigrants are about 80 percent more likely to found a firm, compared to U.S.-born citizens. Those firms also have about 1 percent more employees than those founded by U.S. natives, on average.

“Immigrants, relative to natives and relative to their share of the population, found more firms of every size,” says Pierre Azoulay, an economist at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of a published paper detailing the study’s results.

Taking firm creation into account, the results indicate that immigration to the U.S. is associated with a net gain in job availability, contrary to the common perception that immigrants fill jobs that U.S.-born workers would otherwise have.

“The findings suggest that immigrants act more as ‘job creators’ than ‘job takers’ and that non-U.S. born founders play outsized roles in U.S. high-growth entrepreneurship,” the authors write in the paper.

From Department of Homeland Security

To Boost Health Equity, Families Should Not Act as Interpreters for Immigrant Children

One out of every 4 US children lives in an immigrant family, where either the child and/or at least one parent was born outside of the country. Along with special considerations related to legal status, housing and education, these children face added health risks. Pediatricians are positioned to help mitigate those risks and improve health equity for immigrant children. Physicians who lean on culturally competent communication, social interventions and advocacy can make a difference in the health and well-being of immigrant children and their families.

Immigrant children faced greater social isolation during remote learning, and those new to the country were unable to make new friends at school. At the same time, those that did become comfortable with remote schooling likely had to take on tasks like helping parents apply for unemployment benefits and other assistance.

Even before the pandemic, immigrant children faced greater barriers to health and health care. Immigrant families often live in neighborhoods with lower food availability and access, as well as lower walkability. Immigrant children are also more likely to live in a more crowded, multigenerational household which, combined with other factors, can contribute to stress, anxiety and other mental health symptoms.

When possible, pediatricians should offer care and other information in families’ preferred language and via their preferred means of contact. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against family, friends or children acting as interpreters between patients and their doctors. Instead, practices should provide trained interpreters in person, by phone or by video to improve communication. This approach has been shown to help patients better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan. It also may increase the likelihood that prescriptions will be filled and lead to fewer medical errors.

From SmartBrief

The Reason Schools Should Proactively Engage with Diverse Community Stakeholders

At a moment when school districts across the United States are responding to major challenges, collaboration with community stakeholders has never been more essential to achieving educational equity for marginalized and underserved student groups.

For English Language Learners (ELLs), who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to ensure they receive the support they need to close learning gaps. As such, engaging multilingual and diverse community stakeholders, including students, is essential to understanding how to best support pupils, given they are best positioned to identify their needs. The American Rescue Plan (ARP), signed into law by President Biden in March 2021, affords diverse community stakeholders the opportunity to voice their thoughts and help shape how school districts invest funds to mitigate learning loss and address students’ academic, social, and mental health needs.  

ARP allocates an historic $125 billion to schools to reimagine public education, support the most vulnerable students, and address the disparate impacts of the pandemic through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. To access these funds, states and school districts are required to develop and publicly share detailed plans that describe how they intend to use the money.

School districts have struggled to effectively engage multilingual community members. Based on interviews that the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) conducted in July 2021 with state-based education policy and immigrant advocacy organizations at a time when many school districts were developing their ESSER plans, efforts to engage groups representing ELLs and immigrant families appeared to be poorly planned, executed, and advertised.

From Migration Policy

'One-size-fits-all' flawed for assessing health risks among Asian Americans

In a large, retrospective study covering data from the last two decades, death rates for cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. varied among people from various Asian ethnicity subgroups, with death rate trends that stagnated in some subgroups and increased in others, according to new research.

Asian Americans make up the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the U.S., increasing 81 percent—from 11 million to 19 million—between 2000 and 2019, and the population is projected to rise to 36 million by 2060, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet public health and clinical data have commonly combined Asian Americans into one "Asian" category, which obscures health outcomes (including death rates) and risks such as high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and smoking for the various subgroups of Asian people.

"The Asian American population is very diverse in how the subgroups experience health outcomes," said lead study author Nilay S. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of cardiology and preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and an affiliated global faculty member at Stanford University's Center for Asian Health Research and Education. "It is important to recognize evidence-based strategies that are effective for one population may not necessarily be effective for people in another group. There is tremendous opportunity to improve health for Asian Americans by focusing and tailoring research and care to the unique needs and cultural characteristics of these communities."

From Medical Press

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