The stigma associated with mental illness runs deep in her community. Magally Prosper, MD, a private practice pediatrician in Brooklyn, NY., began screening three years ago after learning of TeenScreen National Center resources at a professional conference. She confronts daily the intricate task of meeting the growing mental health needs of teens in a largely Hispanic, Haitian and Caribbean community.
Stigma is universal, but it may be particularly damaging in immigrant and urban communities. Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that nearly one in seven Latino teens in New York City attempted suicide in 2009 and an even greater number, one out of five, in Brooklyn.
“In my Caribbean culture, mental illness is not something that we talk about,” she said. “Seeking counseling is taboo.”
But adolescent mental health screening has made a difference. Hear more from Dr. Prosper on the challenges facing urban teens, and how screening has helped uncover mental health problems and open a dialogue with teens and families.