Centers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon Address Mental Health Services for Hispanics
- Connecticut: A new clinic opening Thursday in Norwalk, Conn., will focus on treatment and management of mental illnesses among local Hispanics, the Stamford Advocate reports. The opening comes after the success of the Latino Services Clinic in Bridgeport, a division of the Hall-Brooke Behavioral Health Services. Like the Bridgeport clinic, the new clinic, called Cruzandos Puentes, will provide services for Hispanics with severe mental illnesses, depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The new clinic will have three treatment coordinators who provide individual counseling and also run group therapy sessions each week. The clinic also will offer workshops on cognitive coping strategies, cultural and relationship issues, and relapse prevention. New immigrants to the U.S. can have difficulty adjusting, and some are prone to depression and anxiety disorders, Ben Prado, a bilingual treatment coordinator at the Bridgeport site, said (Damast, Stamford Advocate, 1/29).
- New Jersey: Hispanic health officials in New Jersey say that more bilingual personnel are needed at mental health care facilities in the state to improve the quality of care, the South Jersey Courier-Post reports. A report released last month by the Hispanic Directors Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Mental Health Institute and various state organizations found that New Jersey's mental heath services for the Hispanic community are inadequate. The 2006 state budget allocated $1 million to hire an additional 22 bilingual direct-care workers and will recruit 48 more, according to Ellen Lovejoy, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services. In addition, all 120 state hospitals by the spring will have access to a resource manual being developed by the New Jersey Hospital Association that will include information on how to communicate with patients who have limited English proficiency, spokesperson Ron Szajkowski, said (Forde, South Jersey Courier-Post, 1/29).
- Oregon: Pacific University last month opened a clinic on the College of Health Professions campus that provides psychological services to individuals and families who speak English and Spanish, the Hillsboro Argus reports. The clinic, called Iris, will cater mostly to veterans, Hispanics and lower-income patients with trauma, anxiety and worries, uncontrollable anger, depression, loss and grief, relationship and self-esteem problems, and parent-child issues. Therapy groups also are available for those who have post-traumatic stress and for those in addiction recovery, including for alcohol, drug use, gambling, and other addictive substances and activities. Fees for services are based on income (Hillsboro Argus, 1/26).