Mi Gente Program
The Mi Gente Program at the Child and Family Outpatient Services in Gateway Healthcare meets the behavioral health needs of Latinx and Hispanic youth with mood disorders and trauma. Mi Gente, “my people,” approaches its work with compassion and consideration to the culture, lifestyles, and traditions of its patients and their families. This program is designed to provide services for a maximum of six months.
A Program that Reduces Stigma
Mi Gente is the only evidence-based mental health clinic in Rhode Island devoted to the Latinx/Hispanic community's unique needs. Latinx/Hispanic youth, especially LGBTQ+, are at higher risk of mood disorders, trauma, and suicidality than most of their non-Latinx/Hispanic peers. Yet, there is a significant lack of culturally informed, evidence-based outpatient psychiatric services for this community. Besides, there are barriers that make it difficult for the Latinx/Hispanic community to get mental health services, such as lack of medical insurance, cultural stigma, and distrust of health care providers, among others.
By educating families and reducing stigma, Mi Gente deepens the understanding of mental health services, benefitting the patient, their family, and essentially – the greater community.
Child and Family psychologist Yovanksa Duarte-Velez, PhD, speaks with WPRI reporter Adriana Rozas Rivera about the Mi Gente program she directs for Latinx youth with mood disorders and trauma.
Who Mi Gente Serves
Our program is designed for Latinx/Hispanic youth, ages 12 to 21, a population that experiences limited access to direct mental health care services. Mi Gente is particularly beneficial to LGBTQ+ youth, who are more likely to face discrimination and rejection. Mi Gente is also directed to support youth’s caregivers, parents, and family members.
Our goal is to work as a team!
A Program that Makes the Difference
Youth and family members are treated within a safe, supportive care environment that is responsive to cultural values and individual identities. Through a psychoeducation process, Mi Gente enables families to gain an understanding of mental health topics, treatment, and LGBTQ+ diversity. We hope that having new understandings about these topics may help families break possible negative ideas that may be in the way of getting the care that their loved ones need.