SEAHEC is happy to announce that its project Between Us/ Entre Nosotros will address the shortage of mental health care professionals serving rural border and migrant Latino/ Hispanic communities of Southern Arizona through the utilization and strengthening of our community health worker (CHW) workforce.
We are grateful for the Cigna Foundation funding, which will enable us to provide mental behavioral health education and support rural border communities of Douglas, Nogales, and the Casa Alitas Migrant Shelter of Tucson. Project Between Us/ Entre Nosotros will strengthen our CHW workforce’s capacity to provide mental health services through referrals and partnerships and promote sustainability of interventions through integrating mental health into CHW workforce training within local agencies’ services. During this year of funding, SEAHEC will meet with partners throughout the year. Community health workers will learn and train together to best serve our communities’ behavioral health needs. In addition, SEAHEC will be working closely with our partner community health centers, to ensure community members are referred to behavioral health resources safely and effectively.
Contributing factors to mental behavioral health barriers include the inability to access mental health services, shortage of mental health providers, and the stigmas surrounding behavioral health within the Latino population. Looking at the statistics, it is clear that behavioral health is a top priority among community members. The stigmas surrounding behavioral health have affected the Latino community (92.6% in Nogales and 80% in Douglas). Most of the community (66.7%) has also expressed concern that mental health issues are worsening.
“Working with families in Casa Alitas has been very eye-opening for me. Many families have been through hard situations throughout their journey to the United States. Accessibility to mental health services for these communities is very hard in general due to a lack of health insurance, transportation, and other barriers. To add to these barriers, there is also the stigma of accessing these services in their home countries, which can make it hard. Overall, this grant will help us, as CHWs, better understand and know how to provide information on these resources and referrals. We want to increase accessibility to these services, and the CIGNA Foundation grant is a step forward to making it happen!” – CHW Paulette
We hope communities served through this project realize they are being heard and that their mental & behavioral health matters. We at SEAHEC understand and have seen firsthand the need for behavioral health in rural communities. Our goal is to ensure an enhanced health systems navigation where all families served in rural communities have the mental / behavioral healthcare they need. Our CHWs are excited and look forward to beginning this project, helping one-on-one families navigate the behavioral health system.
SEAHEC community health workers will work closely with community members in helping them navigate through the behavioral health system. CHWs will ensure community members have the resources and help they need during their journey toward enhancing their behavioral health.
SEAHEC community health workers will work closely with community members in helping them navigate through the behavioral health system.
CHWs will ensure community members have the resources and help they need during their journey toward enhancing their behavioral health.