A bilingual team Justice United leaders is planning a Mental Health Public Assembly in mid-November to:
- Call attention to the profound mental health crisis, especially the lack of resources for Spanish speakers and those who are uninsured or underinsured.
- Begin building a relationship with Alliance Health, the group that controls the majority of state funds designated for mental health services in Orange County.
- Make specific proposals for investments in Orange County's mental health services, for the Alliance Health fiscal year 2023-2024.
*As soon as we set a date (no later than the beginning of October), Justice United members will be the first to know!
What will be our specific proposals?
Leaders will propose that Alliance invest in funding the short-term goals that the Mental Health team identified after a year of careful research and deep community listening:
1) Creation (and maintenance of) an accurate and user-friendly guide to mental health services for members of the Latino community.
2) Increase group therapy options (including in trusted settings like religious communities).
3) Training for existing Spanish-speaking community leaders/community health workers to become certified as peer support specialists to provide basic mental health interventions, to diversify mental health service options. (A very strong program housed at UNC Greensboro has been piloted and evaluated with funding from the National Institutes of Health, and is expanding statewide.)
What's next after the Mental Health Public Assembly?
The team will work towards the mid-term and long-term goals, also identified and prioritized through research and community listening:
- Ensure Orange County's future Crisis/Diversion Center has bilingual staff and culturally responsive services.
- El Futuro (leading and essentially only local bilingual long-term therapy option, located in Durham) returning to a physical presence in Orange County. (A decade ago, the previous equivalent of Alliance, Cardinal, forced El Futuro to close its Carrboro office by preventing El Futuro from treating patients who did not have insurance.)
- Investment in training bilingual students as licensed therapists -- growing the "pipeline"
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