Poetry: On The Impact Of Language Barriers For Immigrants Seeking Mental Health Care

 Mariam, her husband, and son! Photo via  Instagram . 

Mariam, her husband, and son! Photo via Instagram

Hello world!

Back at it again, eh? We're ending Mental Health Awareness Month with some major bangs. You'll know if you peeped the last two posts! We've got childhood trauma and Military PTSD in the bag right now. 

We. Are. On. Fiya.

And we're excited to share some poetry! This is a first for bklynprose, which is OD weird because we love poetry and our founder is about this performance life. We've been blessed by Mariam's work, which you'll read in detail below! Tenderly, she describes how immigrant communities receive limited mental health care due to language barriers.

Drop us a comment and follow on IG if you're digging this jam or any other new blogs on the site!

 Selfie game on point. Photo via  Instagram .

Selfie game on point. Photo via Instagram.

There is a forgotten group of people suffering from mental disorders and mental illnesses. These are the immigrants, the emigrants, and the migrants, who reside in an area where there are no mental health professionals that are fluent in their mother tongue.

These silent sufferers have no where to turn to seek help; their isolation is further exaggerated by the stigma present in their communities that would prevent them from getting the necessary help, even if it did exist.


I Can’t Seek Help for my Mental Health

By: Mariam Younan

I can’t seek help for my mental health
No psychiatrist would understand me
How can I explain the voices
When my voice is foreign
How do you say “I feel like I’m drowning”
Or “I am on a broken carousel underwater”
In English?
I’m on that broken carousel with my broken English
Spinning, spinning
My head is spinning
The voices are winning
I can’t seek help for my mental health
Who would understand me?
They’ve built a wall
Around me
And there’s no one who can break me out
All the doctors my daughter dog eared and dialed
Don’t know anything about
My language, my culture, my heritage, me
They don’t see me
And then there’s the disgrace
Of trying to save face
When I can’t even get out of bed
Because these weights are made of tears and lead
I etched “tabana” into my arm in Arabic
It means I’m tired
I’m tired and there’s no one who will understand.

 Mariam all dressed up! Photo via  Instagram .

Mariam all dressed up! Photo via Instagram.

Not so fast! Mariam is a busy Mama, so we're looking for voices to continue this convo about immigrant access to mental health care. Contact us here if this sentiment applies to you, someone you know, or if you're down to help us find this person or people! 

Here's a link to another recent post--our Started Small interview with Nastasia Scott! She's a mother, model, business owner, and shared all the insight in maintaining her life in an authentic, healthy way

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much luv,