NHLN Opinion+: Cindy Coughlin

Bryan Zapata


This week we invited Cindy Coughlin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor at Catholic Charities New Hampshire.

Coughlin works with Spanish and English-speaking populations of all ages in the areas of mental health. 

The impact of the pandemic caused people to be disconnected from socialization opportunities. “There was an increase in depression and anxiety amongst teenagers and young adults,” explained Coughlin. The immigrant community faced severe mental health issues as they faced the uncertainty of attending work and attracting unwanted illnesses to their families as well as being unable to visit extended family in their home countries. The undocumented community continues to be fearful of reaching out to services.

A significant issue that communities of color face are having access to medical professionals who can speak the same language as they do. A lack of cultural sensitivity among professionals when serving marginalized groups causes them to steer away from these resources. Inspiring more ethnic minority students to pursue medical professional roles will contribute to alleviating negative stigmas around these resources. 

As we are exiting the pandemic we have yet to see the full impact on mental health. “Younger generations, as they get older will see effects of this period of lockdown and loss of routine over time,” explained Coughlin. People are reaching out for help more frequently and are taking strides for growth with the lessons learned from the pandemic. 

Catholic Charities strives to make affordable and accessible resources available to meet the needs of all families. The organization also makes an effort to make all voices heard. Therapy is for all people and not just for those with severe illnesses. It is the responsibility of all people to be understanding of all stories and seek the resources they need to succeed. 

Resources mentioned in the video: