Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center for Latino Mental Health
Bienvenidos y gracias por su interés en proporcionar servicios a la población latina en nuestro país.
The Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center’s Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP) offers a unique opportunity for William James College students who are interested in working with individuals from Latino cultures. Through intensive immersion in Spanish language and Hispanic cultures, students are prepared as culturally sensitive clinicians with expertise to meet the particular mental health needs of this rapidly growing and underserved segment of the U.S. population.
Today, one in every eight individuals living in the U.S. is Hispanic or Latino, and by 2050, one-quarter of the population will be of Hispanic descent. Despite this looming population explosion, only about one percent of the nation’s psychologists identify themselves as Latinos. The need for professionals, Latino and non-Latino, trained to care competently for Latino patients/clients is already critical and will only increase in severity over the next few years.
Given that many Latinos in the U.S. have limited English proficiency, the ability to provide services in Spanish is essential in providing competent services to this population. Even among Latinos who are fluent in English, many communicate more effectively in Spanish. There are also unique and richly diverse values, beliefs and traditions among the various Latino cultures, as well as common experiences of immigration and diversity as Latinos in the U.S., that must be well understood by providers in order to make competent clinical assessments and implement effective interventions.
Given the complex interaction of social and cultural factors in the mental health of this population, it is not surprising that most Latinos who seek mental health services do not return after the first visit, primarily because of a lack of “cultural fit” with the provider.
About the Lucero Center
The Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center was founded by friends and family of Dr. Cynthia Lucero, a graduate of William James College, who died in the spring of 2002 after collapsing during the Boston Marathon. The new Latino Mental Health Program is the latest creation of that center, which also sponsors lectures and scholarships in Cynthia's memory.