Dominican University of California
 

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Presentation or Panel Title

Resource Guide for Mental Health Providers working with Latinos

Location

Guzman 112

Start Date

4-15-2016 4:40 PM

End Date

4-15-2016 4:55 PM

Department

Counseling Psychology

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor

Carlos Molina, ED.D., MFT

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

A resource guide for mental health practitioners working with Latino immigrant clients was developed based on the personal realization by the author of the need for such a guide. The development of the resource was informed by the dialog with graduate students, trainees, MFTI and MFT working within the Latino immigrant population. Review of the literature was used to understand the psychosocial stressors of clients from Latin America. The resource guide offers clinicians culturally adapted interventions, psycho educational handouts (provided in Spanish and English). The author’s hope is that resource guide may be advantageous for mental health providers working with Latino population. The resource guide may offer culturally appropriate interventions in order to enhance cultural sensitivity, thus leading to a stronger therapeutic alliance.

Comments

INTRODUCTION

According to the United Nations Population Report (2010), it was estimated that at the beginning of this century, approximately 213 million people were living in countries different from their native country. This group of people is referred to as “migrants,” and the number of migrants has doubled in only a quarter of a century. Hernandez (1999) estimated that the number of immigrant children in the United States increased by 47% over the eight year period from 1990 to 1997 while the number of children of native-born parents only grew by 7 %. Immigrants significantly contribute to the ever-expanding diversity of the population of the United States.

The Latino population is the largest minority and has become the fastest-growing minority group in the United States according to the United States Census (2010). Also, the United States Census indicated that the Latino population represents more than 50.5 million of the current United States population. Within the Latino population as one of the largest growing minorities in the United States many find themselves in a socially and psychologically vulnerable situations (Ayon et al., 2010).

Various issues surrounding the access to mental health funds for immigrants have resulted from inadequate federal immigration policies as well as anti-immigration legislation. The result from the lack of funding and access to mental health services for the Latino population, could in the middle and long term, have a negative impact on the lives of many immigrants as well as on the whole economy of the State as the number of immigrants in California keeps on increasing year after year.

Due to the increase of this community and the difficulties they face, it is important for mental health workers to receive appropriate cultural competence training to serve better this population. It is necessary for the mental health workers who are providing services to become aware of the factors that create barriers for many Latinos who need to have access to mental health services. The factors that contribute to the underuse of services include stigma, linguistic inaccessibility, and a lack of culturally competent providers (Manoleas, 2008). Manoleas (2008) stated that many mental health providers are not adequately prepared to work or engage with the complex and challenging problems that many individuals and families in the Latino community experience.

To address the needs of the Latino population’s mental issues, this author presents some of the stressors related to the immigration experience and how those can be best addressed. This manual seeks to increase how the understanding of the psychosocial factors related to various aspects of the immigrant experience will improve the relationship and clinical approach when working with Latino clients. This manual describes the diverse population of Latino immigrants, and addresses the psychological experience of immigration. It also focuses on the factors that help build rapport with the Latino population and the issues that might arise in therapy. Even though the acculturation process of minority communities, primarily Hispanic, has been of increased interest to psychologists in recent years, the research in this area has typically focused more on cultural adaptation to society and not on the psychological consequences in the individual. This manual attempts to assist in increasing cultural competence among mental health workers by providing methods and tools on how to clinically intervene and interact with Latino families facing emotional and relational stressors.

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Apr 15th, 4:40 PM Apr 15th, 4:55 PM

Resource Guide for Mental Health Providers working with Latinos

Guzman 112

A resource guide for mental health practitioners working with Latino immigrant clients was developed based on the personal realization by the author of the need for such a guide. The development of the resource was informed by the dialog with graduate students, trainees, MFTI and MFT working within the Latino immigrant population. Review of the literature was used to understand the psychosocial stressors of clients from Latin America. The resource guide offers clinicians culturally adapted interventions, psycho educational handouts (provided in Spanish and English). The author’s hope is that resource guide may be advantageous for mental health providers working with Latino population. The resource guide may offer culturally appropriate interventions in order to enhance cultural sensitivity, thus leading to a stronger therapeutic alliance.