PASEO Salud Mental is committed to increasing access to and quality of mental health care for the Latinx community in the United States as well as in low-resource communities in Latin America. We have two primary “arms” of the program. First, we focus on helping students and professionals in psychology, psychiatry, clinical social work, and related fields improve their Spanish skills for use in mental health settings, as there is a significant shortage of professionals who can provide services to the more than 40 million individuals within our borders who speak Spanish as their native language. This arm of the program combines formal language instruction, service learning, clinical seminars and immersive living to help generalize and reinforce skills.
The second arm of PASEO Salud Mental is focused on capacity building with communities in Peru and Guatemala who either do not have access to mental health professionals, or do not have training in the treatments and assessments necessary to meet the needs of their communities. We focus on developing and providing trainings in contextually-grounded and resiliency-based techniques, and when necessary, also assist with short-term and specific clinical tasks.
12% of the United States population speaks Spanish, making it the 5th largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. This demographic struggles to attain quality mental health services because of a lack of professionals who speak Spanish. Native Spanish speakers who are assessed in English are often misdiagnosed, overmedicated, or pathologized. Many bilingual children are incorrectly placed in special education or not given access to accommodations needed for learning disabilities because of a lack of professionals who can do psychoeducational and neuropsychological testing in Spanish.
PASEO confronts inequalities in mental health services through quality training of students and professionals in psychological Spanish. PASEO also bolsters the mental health workforce in Peru by providing a consistent stream of students to marginalized communities with high rates of depression, trauma and domestic violence, while working with Peruvian professionals to ensure culturally competent care.
PASEO Salud Mental is committed to uniting individuals who are passionate about global mental health, increasing access to mental health services to Latinx youth and families both domestically and abroad, and filling a much needed training gap encountered by individuals who speak some Spanish, but do not yet feel confident to deliver services in Spanish.
Click below to download the PASEO brochure and learn more about the three tenants of PASEO; field-specific language instruction, service learning, and community collaboration.