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Latino Psychologist Appointed to Mental Health Post in Commonwealth
Date:12/15/2008

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A 2002 report of the Surgeon General's office, called "Mental Health: Culture Race and Ethnicity," concluded that despite the similar overall prevalence of 22 percent of mental illness in the general population, minority groups in the United States are disproportionately represented among the poor, incarcerated, homeless and victims of violence, which have the most measurable impact on the incidence of mental illness. They are far less likely than whites to use mental health services and face a social and economic environment of inequality in care that includes racism and stereotyping; substandard care, including the withholding of state-of-the-art medicines and therapies; fragmentation of services; and providers who can neither speak their language nor understand the cultural context of their distress.

Highly experienced in providing mental health treatment to Latino populations and knowing the critical need for mental health providers to speak the Spanish language and understand the various Latino cultures, Dr. Laria launched a new training program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in September of 2005, designed to train Latino and non-Latino psychologists to care for these underserved populations.

"I feel incredibly honored and privileged to be chosen to work on the Council; it is a great fit for what I have been doing," says Dr. Laria.

A clinical psychologist and faculty member of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Laria also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.


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SOURCE Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
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