Conocimiento, Colectividad y Curación: Understanding and Addressing Latinx Youth Mental Health and Wellness Through PAR Entremundos

Abstract

Still one of the fasting growing minoritized groups in the U.S., Latinxs [we are using the term Latinx rather than Latino/a or Hispanic, unless a term is used by cited resources. See Scharrón-de Río and Aja (The case For “Latinx”—And why this term matters for intersectionality—everyday feminism [magazine], 2016)], historically, have endured major socio-economic and educational crises that have produced challenges to mental health and wellness. Unfortunately, the challenges many Latinxs face are often overlooked, misunderstood and underserved. This paper is a study of high school youth who were part of the Education in our Barrios Project, #BarrioEdProject, a Philadelphia-based participatory action research (PAR) collaborative, where high school-aged and undergraduate youth work together to conduct research on issues that affect their local communities and schools. Using an ecological-feminist-Latinx framework (Heiman and Artiga in Beyond health care: the role of social determinants in promoting health and health equity, 2015; Nelson and Prilleltensky in Pursuit of Liberation and Well-being, 2nd ed. Palgrave, New York, 2010; Smith and Romero in AJOP Am J Orthopsychiatr 80(1):12–25, 2010) the authors consider how #BarrioEdProject, as a form of PAR Entremundos, function as a space to support youth mental health and address oppressive social determinants of mental health. Drawing on observations, interviews, and written responses from participants, the authors assert that #BarrioEdProject and its curriculum of conocimiento can help participants identify the kinds of trauma that young people face, and create an experience where participants are humanized, share power and develop the skills to take social action.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We are using the term Latinx rather than Latino/a or Hispanic, unless a term is used by cited resources. See Scharrón-de Río and Aja (2016).

  2. 2.

    All names are pseudonyms.

  3. 3.

    Entremundos means “between worlds”.

  4. 4.

    Project youth will henceforth be referred to as “participants”.

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Mayorga, E., Rosales, A. Conocimiento, Colectividad y Curación: Understanding and Addressing Latinx Youth Mental Health and Wellness Through PAR Entremundos. Urban Rev 51, 559–581 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-019-00532-3

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Keywords

  • Latinx
  • Latino/a
  • Youth
  • Trauma
  • Mental health
  • Wellness
  • Well-being
  • Participatory action research
  • Curriculum