Sunday, January 19, 2020: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Treasury, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Mental Health (MH)
Carmen Valdez, PhD, The University of Texas at Austin
Leopoldo Cabassa, PhD, Washington University in Saint Louis
Efforts to reduce racial and economic inequalities should address not only their effects on mental health but also on improving access to mental health services. Latinx immigrant families have been shown to experience gains in mental health outcomes upon arrival, relative to the non-immigrant population. However, these gains erode over time and from one generation to another, with poor mental health exceeding that of the general population. This symposium explains the difficulties associated with the Latinx immigrant experience in the United States and outlines interventions aimed to increase access and utilization of mental health services for Latinx immigrant families. The first panelist describes the need for access to services for Latinx caregivers of children with developmental disabilities. The study targets the unique experiences of Texan families, as little is known about this population. Texas is unique in that it is comprised of a racial/ethnically (58.3% reported racial/ethnic minority) and linguistically (36% speak non-English language in home) diverse population. Subsequently, it is important to assess service access and receipt in Central Texas to determine if available services and supports are adequate for the needs of the community. The purpose of this needs assessment study is to fill these gaps in knowledge and determine the diagnostic and service needs of children with ASD and their families in Central Texas utilizing a mixed-methods approach. The second panelist addresses issues of child behavioral problems related to immigration stressors, through a community-based parenting intervention with Latinx immigrant family populations. Low-income Latinx immigrant families are exposed to multiple immigration-related challenges. These stressors place Latinx youth at high risk for experiencing various problematic behaviors (e.g., drug use). This presentation will describe strategies to effectively engage and retain underserved Latinx families in community-based parenting prevention programs. The third panelist describes the perceived mental health needs of emerging adults from immigrant Latinx families, highlighting the social determinants of mental health burden and participants' preferences for a mental health intervention that leverages the existing infrastructure of the Ventanillas de Salud (VDS; Health Window). A model of health located within the Mexican Consulate General of Austin, the VDS connects consulate patrons to appropriate health services. A discussant will conclude the symposium with a discussion of how these interventions can be implemented and disseminated to promote mental health equity among often-underserved Latinx immigrant populations.
* noted as presenting author
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