Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) filed a bill Tuesday to improve Latino mental health treatment.
Since 2020, Latino sadness, anxiety, and suicide rates have increased due to the epidemic.
Padilla's measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), would mandate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include culturally and linguistically appropriate treatments in its materials. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) introduced the House measure.
It would also require the government to raise awareness of Latino mental disease symptoms and COVID's effects on Hispanic mental and behavioral health.
Padilla's agency reported that 36.1% of Latinos 18 or older with mental illness received services in 2021, compared to 47.2% nationwide.
"We must eliminate barriers to mental health care, because no one should suffer in silence," Padilla stated.
He proposed a bill to give military kids mental health tests and checkups at Department of Defense Education Activity schools.