Mental Hell

Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

Grading Professor

Ginger Thompson

Subject Concentration

Spanish Language

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Mental Hell explores how difficult it is for low-income Latinos in New York City to access mental health care. Through explanations from experts and the personal stories of three Latinas New Yorkers who have gone through the process of trying to get the care they need, the story guides the reader through the many roadblocks this demographic encounters specifically under the insurance of Medicaid.

This is an extremely important topic that affects many New Yorkers, and we believe something needs to be done to make this type of healthcare more accessible for Latinos. New York City has a very high number of Latinos. Almost 2 in every 3 New Yorkers is Latino, and almost half of Latinos in the city live under the poverty line, which means they classify for Medicaid.

According to a survey from the New York City’s Department of Health, Latinos have a higher prevalence of SPD (Serious Psychological Distress) than non-Latino adults. Taken together with recent statistics from the youth high risk behavior survey from the CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention), suicide is the the second leading cause of death among latina adolescents. In 2015, 15% of Latina adolescents in the United States have attempted suicide and nearly 26 percent of Latina teens considered suicide.These are just a few statistics that suggest a serious crisis in this community, and unfortunately, there are many roadblocks that exist for them to get the help they need.

In our paper we go in depth about the problems Latinos have when they try to seek help through Medicaid. From lack of providers, low reimbursement rates for these providers, and cultural barriers, we provide an understanding of these roadblocks through the eyes of these three women and the experts.

Although there is not one single way to solve this problem, according to research one solution that can help is to open more community based programs and support groups, since in the Latino communities, family/community relationships are strong. One successful example of this is LIP (Life is Precious) which is a program specifically to prevent for Latina adolescents from committing suicide.

Find the capstone project here:

AUDIO_DeMoya_Jesenia.mp3 (3269 kB)
News Feature on the 2017 Out of the Darkness Walk in Manhattan.

VIDEO_DeMoya_Jesenia.mp4 (78792 kB)
Web video with the testimony of Johanna Rosario and her advocacy work for suicide prevention.

PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence1.jpg (2375 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence2.jpg (4693 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence3.jpg (6352 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence4.jpg (14055 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence5.jpg (613 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence6.jpg (137 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence7.jpg (140 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence8.jpg (168 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence9.gif (63 kB)
PHOTO_DeMoya_Jesenia_Sequence10.jpg (6044 kB)



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.