On November 19, 2003 Frank Pizaña, Drug Free Noble County, Isaac García, Centro Vida, LaGrange County, and Gilberto Pérez, NEC attended a meeting in Chicago, IL along with community mental health center’s from the Chicago area, and community organizations to discuss make-up of partnership between the UNAM, Mexican Consulate, CMHC’s and community organizations.

It was presented that the UNAM and the Mexican Consulate have partnered by creating a mental health education program for Hispanic leaders and community members. The UNAM and Mexican Consulate have sought partnership with CMHC’s and community organizations who offer mental health services to Hispanics. It is envisioned that faculty from UNAM Psychology Department offer educational classes dealing with mental health and community life to Hispanic leaders and community members. A few of the topics to be presented are the following: addictions, sexuality, HIV prevention, community organizing, stress management, accultu-ration issues, domestic violence, personality development in the Mexican, and role of family in the Mexican community.


Proposals discussed:

Community mental health centers can work individually with UNAM and Mexican Consulate to sponsor a professor to come and present a seminar/workshop to leaders and/or community members in their respective community.

Community mental health centers can work conjointly with other community organizations to co-sponsor a professor to come and present a seminar/workshop to leaders and/or community members in their respective communities.

Create a Hispanic mental health coalition that represents CMHC’s and community organizations from the Midwest.

Create a Midwest Annual Hispanic Mental Health Conference. Speakers would include UNAM, Mexican Consulate, clinicians, and community organizers. Conference would serve purpose of disseminating research data, community outreach efforts with Hispanics, and new programs.

The Mexican Consulate’s web page: will create a directory of mental health center’s and community organizations. Each CHMC and organization will have an opportunity to outline services offered.


Where to from here?

Having returned from the meeting, DFNC, Centro Vida, and NEC believe it important to meet with local Hispanic leaders from the Northeastern Indiana region and present the UNAM and Mexican Consulate proposal to develop a mental health education program. Pizaña, García, and Pérez would like to convene a meeting of community organizations and CMHC’s with the intent of exploring interest in a partnership with UNAM and the Mexican Consulate. We came away from the meeting feeling encouraged that efforts are being made to educate Hispanic leaders and community members. Also, the notion of building strategic relationships with our neighbors in the South allows us who live in the North have a better understanding of how to do mental health with Hispanics.

Our next step will be to speak to our respective organizations to inform of our meeting and determine if they want to consider convening Hispanic leaders. Second, if this is seen as favorable by our respective organizations we will move to convene a meeting with Hispanic leaders and CMHC’s and community organizations to present the program offered by UNAM and the Mexican Consulate. The UNAM has offered to attend this meeting in order to better explain this program and its objectives.

For more details you can contact Gilberto Pérez at 260-894-7179 or Isaac García at 260-499-3211.