Description: Lo Que Amo De Ti, Complétalo com amor, hardcover, 4.5” × 3.25”, 112 pages.
Story: As the child of Portuguese immigrants whose first language was not English, I realize and appreciate the power of language. My parents could not speak English at the time they immigrated to Canada, which made it very difficult to obtain services only available in English. It was difficult to describe, express things they needed, desired. I learned Portuguese in the home and first learned English from watching television. I would often translate for my parents and help my own parents learn English. The strongest emotions were always expressed in Portuguese, especially when there was just no English equivalent, no translation possible. Some emotions are extremely difficult to express in a language other than your native language. In Portuguese, depressed is “deprimido,” but it often gets translated into English as “sad” – an easier translation for most people, but a significant understatement of what a person might be actually feeling. For a significant number of people, English is not their native language, hence the importance of having therapists who speak other languages, especially Spanish. The Hispanic community has treatment rates of 50% of other communities and one of the key barriers to treatment is the dearth of Spanish speaking therapists and doctors. Further, it is important to realize and appreciate that the Hispanic community is not homogeneous, that there are many different dialects. To use an example I’m most familiar with, Portuguese from Portugal has some significant differences from Brazilian Portuguese. Good and accessible translators is a start, but a lot is lost in translation. We need to encourage and incentivize members of minority communities to pursue mental health professions.
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