Director hoping to change mental health stigma within Latino community

A local Latino director is taking action to break the stigma surrounding mental health in Hispanic communities.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A local Latino director is taking action to break the stigma surrounding mental health in Hispanic communities.

"Rompiendo Olas," or Breaking Waves, is a five-minute film in Spanish produced and directed by local Latino filmmaker Adan Avalos.

He took on the project to shed light on a subject he says the Hispanic community doesn't open up about often.

"I wanted to tell that story. I wanted to talk about mental health and kind of remove that stigma and negativity and say, 'hey, this is okay. This is a part of our lives,'" said Avalos.

He received a grant from the non-profit Art With Impact in the fall of 2020 and gathered a crew to make it happen quickly.

Avalos says his storytelling comes from personal experience and centers around a young migrant worker who fights an internal battle he's had growing up in a Latino household.

"I saw it in my family, but again we never talked about it. If you are feeling down or depressed, people say just shake it off. They say it's just you."

Avalos believes a lot of it has to do with the culture and wants people to know, it doesn't always have to be that way.

"There is support for mental health, so don't suffer in the dark. Go out there and talk to people about it. Let's remove that stigma around mental health," he said.

The film premiered Monday at 1 p.m. You can watch it here.

The public event was also live on Facebook..

You can also be a part of multiple virtual Q&A's with the filmmakers the rest of the week to openly discuss mental health.

Avalos hopes people remember this one message, "No matter how heavy the day is, let's just keep living."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.