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Patient Stories

#WeTheImmigrants: Immigrants Need Access to Mental Health Services

Welcome to the fourth episode of #WeTheImmigrants!

We the Immigrants is a video series where immigrants share their experiences with health care in the US. We’ve gathered videos from immigrants across New York to discuss their stories about affordability, accessibility, and more. Watch Ingrid’s story below!

Ingrid shares stories from her experience as a clinical social worker.

As a clinical social worker and community activist in Corona, Queens, Ingrid has seen immigrants struggle to access healthcare. Corona is 78% Latinx, 15% Asian, and 66% are immigrants, many of whom are undocumented.

She recalls working with someone who was having suicidal thoughts—however, emergency Medicaid does not cover mental health services. In this moment of crisis, a lack of access made their crisis even greater. As Ingrid says, “For emergency Medicaid not to cover mental health services, to me, it’s—it’s insane. I don’t understand it.”

She also discusses another client who needed mental health coverage. Although her client was documented, she was still required to submit proof of income in order to get Medicaid. However, as a vendor selling water, churros, and coffee, her income did not come in the form of a traditional paycheck.

Ingrid calls for single-payer healthcare and for universal healthcare: “We need Medicare for all now. We can’t wait any longer . . . it’s been too long already.”

Watch her story below: