I am a proud founding member of the Latinx Therapist Action Network. Most of all I am deeply committed to the healing of Latinx people in my lifetime. I believe that we will win and I believe that we will heal.
I am excited to announce the Latinx Therapists Action Network (LTAN) launch! We have incubated this project with a lot of love for our Latinx migrant communities for about a year.
As a network of Latinx mental health practitioners we are committed to honoring and affirming the human dignity of Latinx immigrant communities marginalized by violence, criminalization, detention, and deportation. The current political assaults on the migrant community can devastate the spirits, livelihoods, and wellbeing of these communities, leaving deep emotional, physical, spiritual, and political wounds.
We are committed to:
- 1) standing in solidarity with the migrant rights movement
- 2) deepening our own understanding about the intersection of criminalization, mass incarceration and deportation,
- 3) Assist in building the resiliency of our movements by doing emotional health education and providing low cost mental health services to all those in need to those on the frontlines.
My experience as an immigrant has been a different than our migrant peoples today, my family and I had a good and stable life in Guadalajara Mexico, where I was born and raised. I was able to become a citizen shortly after I was born thanks to my Dad who was already a naturalized US Citizen. My Dad migrated to the US as a young adult in search of the American Dream back in the 70’s, when hard work and perseverance often lead to adjustment of status, when family migration was possible, and before immigration laws became so strict, difficult and often expensive as they are now for individuals who want to petition their family members. After completing High School in Guadalajara, my parents gave my brother and I, the option of moving to the US to pursue higher education and we have been here since 2004. I am conscious of the privileges that my family and I had coming here, and that these are now something that millions of migrants struggle for daily with little to no hope of political or legal options to make their desire a reality.
As a social worker and behavioral health professional, I have seen first hand the trauma and hardship resulted from anti-migrant laws such as SB1070, the brutal separation of families at the border, and the effects that deportation and detention has on families and children. All this made it obvious that we needed to center addressing trauma and building our communities resilience. These experiences made me deeply committed to my field of Social Work.
I have worked with children, youth, and families in the Latinx community. I have worked in medical settings, school, family shelters, and behavioral health agencies and I have seen first hand the need for Latinx therapists that can properly address the needs of our community. I have seen the need, and I have seen also the negative effects it has on a family to be working with a mental health providers that are not equipped in trauma informed care.
This is exactly why LTAN is so important to me. Our people continue dealing with their emotional struggles in silence, hoping that the trauma, anxiety, and depression would magically go away on its own. It is our responsibility and duty as professionals and providers to address those needs and continue uplifting our community to break those cycles.
LTAN was born out of the need for quality front line providers that the community could connect with. Throughout the years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number if individuals who have been affected by the harsh immigration laws in the US but also that have endured significant trauma in their country of origin and while on their journey to the US.
As Latinx providers, it is not enough to just be able to speak Spanish or speak the language of origin of our clients, we must understand the trauma and political context that created the circumstances which have brought them here today. Sometimes it is generational trauma that has been inflicted in their country of origin, sometimes is the trauma experienced during their journey to the US, sometimes it is anxiety and depression originated by the circumstances they are currently facing in the US regarding discrimination, hate crimes, immigration polices, etc. Sometimes it is all of this combined.
We are a group of social workers, counselors, researchers, and community organizers that have come together with the purpose of uplifting our Latinx community by bridging the gap, educate the community about the importance of mental health, to heal our community and provide trauma informed services that understand and the unique needs and experiences of the immigrant community.
Please visit our online platform www.latinxtherapistsactionnetwork.org. Please share this announcement with your peers, grassroots organizations, all those who can benefit from the network or would be interested in being a part of it.