On March 1 & 8, 2008 Northeastern Center hosted a Bienvenido Facilitator Training at the Learning Generation Initiative in Elkhart, Indiana. The training brought together 20 individuals from Elkhart, Goshen, Ligonier, South Bend, Granger, Mishawaka, Wakarusa, Mill Creek, and Sturgis, MI to be trained in the Bienvenido curriculum. The Bienvenido curriculum offers an opportunity for Latino Immigrants to gain new knowledge on mental health topics, process potential trauma of migrating to this country, and creates a peer support network among participants.

Trainees worked at facilitating class lessons and received basic instruction in mental health topics such as depression, stress management, and communication. Bienvenido Facilitators will work at implementing the Bienvenido curriculum in their respective communities. The training was made possible through a partnership with the Learning Generation Initiative (LGI) in LaGrange, IN. LGI was the recipient of a grant from the Office of Community & Rural Affairs.

It was exciting to observe trainees prepare their class lesson. A few trainess made their own props and were creative in their delivery of the curriculum content. We congratulate the trainees for successfully completing the training program. Northeastern Center will provide mentoring support in the month of March, April, and May to ensure trainees understand the curriculum and answer implementation questions.

A Bienvenido Facilitator Training will be held in April in Indianapolis with mental health centers from Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Warsaw, Gary, Evansville, and Southeast Indiana. An additional Bienvenido Facilitator Training will be held in Elkhart County in May with local pastors, community leaders, and community members. The April and May trainings are sponsored by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

Northeastern Center is excited about entering into the community to empower Latino immigrants, community members, and mental health professionals to become actively involved in promoting mental health education.

Gilberto Pérez Jr., MSW, ACSW • Bienvenido Program Director • Northeastern Center • 260-318-5042