UnitedHealthcare has awarded $1.1 million in grants to non-profit organizations throughout New Mexico. Their goal is to decrease the gaps in wellness for New Mexicans due to location, lack of income, and lack of resources. With the highest percentage of Hispanic population in the United States, it’s crucial that the mental and physical well being of this growing population receives adequate attention -and funding.

Founded in 2002, the National Latino Behavioral Health Association advocates for proper resources to reduce the disparity of help many Latinos face. Specifically, they’re working on the growing epidemic of fentanyl abuse in northern New Mexico among Latino youths, as well as the chasm of communication that often exists between patient and provider.

Executive Director, Fred Sandoval MPA, says that in independent study conducted by the Association found a near 300% increase in the use of fentanyl among younger Latinos. What’s more, he says only 1 in 10 youths have access to substance abuse prevention tools -a statistic that has exacerbated the problem.

Furthermore, many Latinos who are monolinguistic cannot effectively communicate with mental healthcare providers, leaving themselves absent of care that can easily be administered through better communication.

UnitedHealthcare has invested in addressing both of these concerns by helping NLBHA train more interpreters that will work between patient and provider, as well as increasing the availability of preventive services for Latinos battling substance abuse.

Blaine Bergeson with UnitedHealthcare says that partnerships like these with local non-profits are key in reducing the holes in healthcare for a population continuing upward growth in New Mexico, and the United States.

Learn more about what UnitedHealthcare is doing to help New Mexico non-profits online at UHCCS.com/NewMexico.