SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story
/

OITNB's Dascha Polanco addresses a big problem in the Latino community

Christina Marfice

by

Trending writer

Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

Dascha Polanco speaks candidly about battling depression after her mother's death

Orange Is the New Black's Dascha Polanco is speaking up for the Latino community about an issue that hits close to home.

More: Dascha Polanco's new hair has an eerie resemblance to My Little Pony's tail

Polanco, who plays Daya on the Netflix original series, is featured on the cover of Latina magazine's June/July issue. In an interview with the mag, she opened up about the lack of mental health resources for the Latino community and her own struggles with depression after her mother's death.

"Mental health is a big issue and I think it's ignored a lot in the Latino community," Polanco said. "It's very interesting, the times I've felt that I can't breathe emotionally, and I react to things in a very impulsive manner — where it's anger or crying. And being able to speak to somebody about that was kind of a revelation that it was okay for me to feel depressed."

More: Elle Fanning joins the dark side with new haircut

There's long been a stigma surrounding mental health issues, but for Latinos and other minorities, it may be even harder to find help. According to the American Psychiatric Association's Office of Minority and National Affairs, less than 10 percent of Latinos with mental disorders seek the help of a mental health specialist. Less than 20 percent see any kind of doctor at all.

In her interview, Polanco spoke fondly of her mother, who struggled to get her education when Polanco was a young girl.

"I remember my mom would take me and my sister and brother with her to Kingsborough Community College," Polanco said. "She would leave us outside the classroom, and we would wait for her there. Sometimes I would read things for her and help her write [papers]. I was in sixth grade and helping her with homework."

More: Primetime Emmys: Dascha Polanco, Selenis Leyva on representing Latinas and embracing those curves (VIDEO)

What do you think should be done to break the stigma surrounding mental health, both in the Latino community and for all people? Head down to the comments and tell us what you think.

Comments
Hot
New in Entertainment
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!