El Centro de las Américas

The logo for El Centro de las Americas

El Centro de Las Americas is proposing the utilization of this funding to provide and expand a mental health and counseling program focused on the low-income Latino/Hispanic community in the Lincoln-Lancaster County area. More specifically, this program will provide a bilingual and bicultural mental health therapist with an approach to the continuous educational efforts surrounding mental health and the prevention of mental health crises.

This program will augment our existing mental health program that is staffed by a part-time bilingual and bicultural student clinician who is provisionally licensed at the master's level. The current need exceeds our resources and thus the need for the additional programming. The need for such a program focused toward the Latino/Hispanic population has been proven by the regular use of our daily services addressing the needs of clients related to mental health.

The trend of Latinos/Hispanics being more likely to be misdiagnosed, admitted to mental health units, treated with medications, or being less likely to receive long-term outpatient psychotherapy, has caused mistrust in current treatment processes within this population. However, it has been shown that when services such as outpatient treatments are made more geographically accessible, affordable, and offer more accommodating hours, clients are more likely to use such services.

The successful implementation of mental health services and resources is reliant upon the trust and faith the client puts in the providers and the environment in which the services are being offered from. Demonstrating that health care providers care about and are educated in the cross-cultural implications of mental health treatment will bolster the communities trust in such services, increasing the effort put forth into taking care of one's mental health.

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