Given the rapid growth of the Latino population in the United States, it is futile to address the gaps in mental health services seen within the community. According Moyce et al., (2022), “Hispanics may underutilize mental health services. In an analysis of service use published in 2005, researchers found that non-Hispanic Whites were seven times more likely to access outpatient mental health services than Spanish-speaking Hispanics, due to language barriers and stigma of mental illness” (p. 347). There are multiple factors contributing to these disparities, including cultural stigma, access to culturally responsive mental health care, lack of mental health advocacy, and discrimination as a result of implicit biases in some health care providers. My thesis illustrates one of the many stressful situations that Latinos could face while living in the United States through a bilingual children’s book, “Kalet la Karateca,” that follows Kalet’s journey to the dojo as a point of intersection between her stressors and her mother’s stressors as an undocumented immigrant. By blending a literature review on mental health disparities and mental health care with my personal experience with suicide in my family, this thesis evokes a culturally responsive approach and bilingual advocacy for mental health education in the Latino community.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 11-26-2023


Dr. José Juan Gómez-Becerra

Mentor Department Affiliation

Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars


Language and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology