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Hispanic and Latino Behavioral Health Needs in the 21st Century Symposium

Publication Date: Jun 19, 2019

The Great Lakes Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) and the National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC announce the Hispanic and Latino Behavioral Health Needs in the 21stCentury Symposium, a two-day event in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, scheduled for August 1 and 2, 2019. 

"The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing group in the United States,” says Alfredo Cerrato, program manager for the Great Lakes MHTTC. “The need for bilingual and bicultural human services professionals who can provide culturally appropriate services has never been higher. The symposium will examine some of the most pressing issues affecting Hispanics and Latinos in our region and beyond, and offer ways to address them.” 

Together, the Great Lakes MHTTC and the National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC have arranged an exciting line-up of national experts on behavioral health issues affecting the Latino population in the U.S. today.

Day 1 of the symposium will focus on the promotora model. Promotoras are bilingual/bicultural healthcare workers who receive specialized training to help their neighbors gain access to social services and health care. One of the featured presenters, Dr. Isa Velez-Echevarria, PsyD, CATP, from the Universidad del Caribe in Puerto Rico, will discuss application of the promotora model to mental health issues for Latinos. 

Promotoras are an emerging workforce that can help address the pressing need for culturally informed support services,” says Cerrato. 

Dr. Bernard Ng, President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, will kick off Day 2 with a keynote presentation on adverse childhood experiences and undocumented children.

Additional presentations on Day 2 will cover suicide prevention, trauma, stress, domestic violence, and the prevalence of mental health disorders in the aging Hispanic population.  

The symposium location at the Grand Geneva Hotel in Lake Geneva offers easy access for attendees from the six-state region that the Great Lakes MHTTC serves. Attendees can take advantage of a reduced room rate of only $82.00/single or $112.00 double per night, plus taxes. 

“We wanted to make this symposium as affordable as possible,” says Cerrato. “There’s no conference registration fee, and we are very excited to be able to offer presentations from the nation’s leading experts on Hispanic behavioral health along with lodging at one of the Midwest’s finest resorts at a very reduced rate.”

The symposium is open to social workers, outreach workers, educators, prevention specialists, criminal justice professionals, community leaders, and members of the faith community.  

Adds Cerrato, “It’s really open to all. Anyone, from any state, interested in health equity and inclusion and how to improve access to health services for underserved populations is welcome to join us.

For more information about the symposium, contact Alfredo Cerrato at

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For more information about the Great Lakes MHTTC, please visit

For more information about the National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC, please visit: