Mental Health in the Dominican Republic

        When you think of the Dominican Republic, what do you think about? Many people think about beaches and pretty resorts. Those things do exist in the country, however the Dominican Republic, is a country as any other and has it’s issues. Tourists that come over don’t know about the real issues the people face, aside from poverty. How do the citizens deal with issues such as mental health? I will be focusing on that in this article
        The Dominican Republic is a country very dependent on tourism. Even my own family is dependent on tourism. The country is advertised as paradise for tourists, where everyone is happy. This is brought to the people, where everyone feels the need to feel happy always. This causes issues, because then people are wary of getting help when they don’t feel happy. It’s as if any other
emotion that isn’t happiness is frowned upon.
        The country also has very strong Christian values, so strong that the bible is in the flag. I want to clarify that not every Christian uses their values against minorities, but in The Dominican Republic, it is very common. Conversion therapy is still legal, Same-sex marriage isn’t legal and violence against women and especially trans women is very common. Many Christians use their religion as a way to normalize these prejudices. There are many other issues in the country such as xenophobia against Haitians and others. All of these problems cause the mental health of others to deteriorate. Since poverty is a rampant issue too,
resources aren’t available for many people.
        All of these topics are very depressing and I used to have no hope at all for the country to get better. That’s why I am very happy that there are many activists going against these issues. The president is also more progressive and I believe might bring these issues to light. I have also met very kind people that also want better for the country that gives me hope. I hope that talking about these problems can spread light on how the Dominican Republic isn’t paradise and if you visit, once the pandemic is over, keep all this in mind.  

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