Adriana Alejandre, the Latina Who Wants to Change the Face of Mental Health in Her Community

Adriana Alejandre BeLatina Latinx
Photo: Yaquelin Hernandez/TODAY

We could safely say that sex and mental health are the two biggest taboos in the Latinx community. That is why Adriana Alejandre’s initiative to open a space to demystify mental health in her community is a laudable first step.

Based in California, Adriana Alejandre, a 30-year-old therapist, founded Latinx Therapy. This bilingual podcast serves as a national directory for finding a Latinx therapist and a collective for Latinx mental health professionals.

As TODAY explains, Alejandre launched the platform because he saw a need for therapists who could speak both English and Spanish and reach out to the community.

“The mission of the podcast is to destigmatize mental health within the Latino community. We are taught from a very young age that we shouldn’t burden others with our problems,” Alejandre said. “The goal is really to bring on different Latinos, mental health professionals, to discuss their specialties, to give them a platform.”

The ancestral heritage of equating strength with a refusal to admit a mental health problem is a pattern that our Hispanic community must break as soon as possible.

Little is said in our homes about imposter syndrome, the pressures of success in an immigrant family, making peace with identity, or even accepting and learning to live with depression.

By inviting different voices, media personalities, and health professionals to the weekly podcast, Alejandre wants to build trust with clients, demystify diagnoses and make therapy more accessible to all. By entering your zip code on the website, you can find nearby licensed bilingual therapists, learn about their identities (e.g., sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.), whether they offer a sliding fee scale, and much more.

It all came about when Adriana Alejandre began her practice as a therapist in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in 2017. As she searched for accessible information for her predominantly Latino patients, she realized the shocking void that existed.

“I was super frustrated because I couldn’t find any resources for my clients that were relevant, that were modern, that weren’t so much clinical jargon,” she told the New York Times.

In 2018, Alejandre decided to start Latinx Therapy, a podcast to spread the word and help Latino patients see therapists as “closer.” She immediately received dozens of responses asking for more information and, most importantly, content in Spanish. Alejandre began recording episodes in both Spanish and English. Latinx Therapy is now a complete platform with a directory of therapists and free screenings for depression, eating disorders, and other common mental illnesses.