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New Initiative to Improve Mental Health Among Chicago Latinos
Date:7/28/2009

report that even when Latinos do access services, 70 percent never return after the first visit -- a tendency attributed to the lack of competency training targeted to the cultural and linguistic needs of this population.

"Studies have shown that therapists who participate in cultural sensitivity training provide more effective treatment to ethnic minority populations," said Dr. Hector Torres, Chicago School assistant professor and Center for Latino Mental Health coordinator. "The better the experience the Latino population has with mental health services, the more likely people in need will continue to benefit. Special thanks should go to The Chicago Community Trust for its support of this critical endeavor."

The vision for the network is to become a growing and collaborative organization, strategically focused to build cultural competence through workshops and mentorship opportunities among its members, other healthcare professionals, and community agencies. It also will address the immediate need for culturally competent care by placing Chicago School clinical counseling interns and at least 75 student volunteers in agencies that serve the Latino community. Together they will deliver more than 8,000 service hours working with clients and staff. Finally, the network will engage in public awareness, research, and outreach to coordinate and strengthen efforts of grassroots agencies with limited staff and capacity to address critical needs.

The network is the latest project to be implemented by The Chicago School's Center for Latino Mental Health. Founded in 2008, the center works to bolster understanding of and access to culturally competent mental health services to Latino communities through scholarly research, community service, an
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SOURCE The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
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