Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month
Message from Maria E. Restrepo-Toro, Co-Director of New England MHTTC
To my New England Colleagues and Friends:
Here at the New England MHTTC, we are honoring the histories of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in multiple Central and Latin American countries. I am a proud Latina, with firsthand experience of being an immigrant, learning a new language, and pursuing a new career to re-establish my bicultural identity. Through this lens, I am keenly aware of the behavioral health crisis affecting the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx community.
The lack of access to mental health care, shortage of bilingual and culturally responsive providers, and political grandstanding around immigration policies urgently calls for the implementation of recovery-oriented practices that consider the multiple levels of cultural responsiveness needed for optimal behavioral health treatment, recovery, and care.
The New England MHTTC is a culturally responsive organization committed to advancing health equity so that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Since our inception four years ago, our efforts to address the stigma of mental illness and promote an affirmative, inclusive, and recovery-oriented approach to supporting mental health recovery for people of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx heritage and their families have included:
- A strategic outreach initiative designed to strengthen New England MHTTC’s efforts to engage and serve communities of color in a consistent and practical way.
- National and regional collaborations with partners, including the National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC and the Northeast & Caribbean MHTTC, to offer initiatives like the webinar series, “Fostering a Culture of Mental Health Recovery with Hispanic and Latino/é Communities: A Multisystem Approach.”
- The development of recovery-oriented, cross-cultural educational tools in both Spanish and Portuguese geared towards people in recovery, families, behavioral health providers, organizations, schools, and communities through our work with the Yale Latino Recovery Colectivo.
- The development of culturally-inspired products and resources, like our Walking in Recovery cards, to provide a message of encouragement and hope and include an explanation of the importance of culture in the recovery process and overall wellness.
- The establishment of our Racial Equity and Advancing Cultural Humility (REACH) Learning Community, to guide agencies and organizations in their efforts to address the multiple levels of cultural responsiveness needed to support optimal behavioral health at the service delivery, provider, organizational, systemic, and treatment philosophy levels.
We are grateful to everyone in the New England region supporting recovery for people who are Hispanic/Latino/Latinx—thank you for the important work you do every day! We
also deeply appreciate the critical expertise and contributions from New England MHTTC staff of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx heritage—Graziela Reis and Vanessa Wronski—who are essential in the outreach to Portuguese-speaking Latinos.
For more information on the history of Hispanic Heritage Month, visit the website of Salud America! And make plans to join our upcoming events recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month on Wednesday, October 12 (see below for details):
- Diversity and Inclusion Project Showcase on Commitment with the Community/Comprometidos con la Comunidad
- Fostering a Culture of Mental Health Recovery with Hispanic/Latino/e Communities
Commitment with the Community/Comprometidos con la Comunidad
Hispanic Heritage Month Diversity and Inclusion Project Showcase
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, join our efforts to amplify the work of community-based organizations (CBOs) and nonprofits in New England supporting mental health and advancing substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery in Hispanic/Latino communities. Celebrate innovation! In a "Round-Robin-style" of presentation, CBOs and local nonprofits throughout the New England region will showcase their goals, growth, outcomes, and visions for the future in their efforts to support the behavioral health needs of underserved populations. SAMHSA DIPS events are designed to increase the access, visibility, and viability of CBOs and local nonprofits. These events are fun, lively, interactive sessions where we build community and share regional resources. Learn more about SAMHSA’s Diversity and Inclusion Project Showcase activities and stay posted for speaker updates and a complete listing of CBOs and nonprofits being featured at this event.
Fostering a Culture of Mental Health Recovery in Hispanic and Latino/é Communities
Implementado una Cultura de Recuperación en Comunidades Hispanas y Latinas
This webinar will support the implementation of a recovery-oriented system of care that aligns with Hispanic and Latino/é cultural values. The goal of mental health services is to cultivate an environment in which individuals with lived experiences of mental health concerns feel comfortable seeking care, engaging in treatment, and supported on their journey towards recovery. Understanding the various barriers to recovery-oriented reform (individual, cultural, and structural), developing recovery-oriented competencies, and communicating recovery-oriented messages within Hispanic and Latino/é communities can enhance a recovery-oriented system of care.
Who should attend? Mental health practitioners, peer providers, individuals with lived experience, and family members.
Taking place on Wednesday, October 12 at 2 p.m. ET - Register today!
For More Information
For more resources related to Hispanic Heritage Month and working with people of Hispanic/Latino/Latinx heritage visit:
- National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC
- ¿Quiénes somos y de dónde venimos? A Historical Context to Inform Mental Health Services with Latinx Populations
- Region 9's Hispanic Heritage Month page
- National Coordinating Office's page