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2017 Latino/a Behavioral Health Conference: The Evolution of Mental Health Services & Social Justice

Latino/a Mental Health Providers Network

Friday, October 13, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CDT)

2017 Latino/a Behavioral Health Conference: The...

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Professional Attendee with CE/CEUs   more info Oct 6, 2017 $125.00 $4.12
General Attendee WITHOUT CE/CEUs   more info Oct 6, 2017 $80.00 $2.99
Student/Community Worker - NO CE/CEUs   more info Oct 6, 2017 $35.00 $1.87
Group Special (3 tickets)   more info Oct 6, 2017 $350.00 $9.74

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Event Details

Important Registration Information

  • Please read ALL information on this EventBrite page
  • You MUST pay for the conference in order to attend the workshops. Your registration is not complete unless you select and complete your payment option. 
  • If you have a promotional code, you must enter the the promotional code first and then select your ticket.
  • Conference Program can be found below. Make note of which AM & PM breakout session you would like to attend. You will make your selection during registration.
  • If you are registering a group, you will need to know EACH attendee information as well as their breakout session selection. 
  • Information regardining CE/CEUs will be coming soon! You MUST pay for a "Professional Attendee" ticket to receive CE/CEUs. 

Conference Program

Registation (8:15am - 8:45am)

Welcome and Opening Remarks (8:45am – 9:15am)

  • Dr. Tiffany Masson - Dean of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • George Cardenas, 12th Ward Alderman
  • Daniel S. Solis, 25th Ward Alderman

Keynote Presentation (9:15am - 10:45am) 

“Criminalizing Hope: The Impact of Aggressive Immigration Enforcement on Latino/as”
Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas, Ph.D and Hector Y. Adames, Psy.D

Esperanza, one of the psychological strengths of Latinos speaks to the subjective belief that even during the most difficult situations, things will work out for the better (Adames & Chavez-Dueñas, 2017) connotes hope, one of the main ingredients that propel immigrants to leave everything behind in search of better economic opportunities, family reunification or the escapement of violence and political turmoil in their countries of origin. The goal of the proposed presentation is to provide a critical look at the criminalization of hope with a focus on Latino/a immigrants in the U.S. (Chavez-Dueñas & Adames, in press).

Break (10:45am – 11:00am)

AM Breakout Sessions (11:00am-12:30pm)

1.  "Understanding Barriers to MH Access for Latino Immigrants in Chicago:          Community-driven Mental Health Assessment for Community Action"
 Arturo Carrillo, LCSW, Ph.D.

In 2016, as an expansion of community research developed in the Brighton Park community over a 3-year period by Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) and Saint Anthony Hospital, a coalition of various community-based organizations (Enlace Chicago, BPNC, Southwest Organizing Project, Pilsen Alliance), community residents and mental health providers engaged in a community-driven research to assess the needs of mental health services and barriers to care in Chicago’s southwest side. 2,878 adults were surveyed across a10-community area; 5 community focus groups were conducted to share findings with residents. Survey data identified that the majority of respondents (52%) reported depression. The overwhelming majority reported being interested in seeking counseling (80%). The biggest reported barrier to access, out of 11 options listed was cost (61%), in last place stigma (8%).According to the study conducted structural barriers, not stigma, is the primary barrier to mental health equity among Latino immigrants. Strategies to achieve mental health equity need to consider financial barriers, including insurance coverage, for individuals living in marginalized communities. However, given the threatening political climate for immigrant families, uncertainty with the state budget, increase in gun violence within the southwest side, and the closure of the city’s mental health clinic in Back of the Yards, the need for trauma-focused therapeutic services are desperately needed. Members of the Southwest Side Mental Health Collaborative will present on the way communities have engaged in the conversations and strategies to address the unmet mental health needs of Chicago’s southwest side.

2. "Vivir con diabetes: Understanding How Individual, Family, and Community Stressors Contribute to the Development of Diabetes and Impact Self-Care in Latino Youth and Families"
Kelly Vaez: DNP, FNP-BC & Denise Bockwoldt, Ph.D., FNP-BC, CDE

Rates of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) has been increasing recently in this country, but particularly in our Latino communities. The great increase in T2DM in youth, especially in our city, show a lifetime of needing to manage the disease, and likely complications, even at an early age. Poorly managed T2DM is common, leading to very high rates of complications at an early age. Reasons for poor management of diabetes are varied, but often relate to larger stress and social issues. A survey in Humboldt Park indicated that the people of the community identify diabetes as a top health concern. We will describe a diabetes support group at a nurse-managed health center in Humboldt Park. Using a patient-led model, participants discuss diabetes self-care in the context of their family and community stress. We will describe the structure, activities, and feedback received from the group. We will also describe next steps for our health center to impact the diabetes health disparities in the Latino community.

3. "Adolescent Substance Use Disorders within the Latino Community"
Jesus (Jesse) Tejeda, BA, CADC-GCE

The presentation will include a review of risk and protective factors for alcohol and drug abuse in Hispanic adolescents, assess a number of approaches for drug abuse prevention/treatment, and will discuss current AOD use trends within Hispanic adolescents. Focus will be placed on AOD use trends in Hispanic communities in Chicago.

4. "An Ecological Approach to Address Health Disparities Experienced by Latino Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities and their Families"
Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, Ph.D

Latino youth and young adults with disabilities and their families are at a high risk for obesity and related health conditions, due to a number of environmental and attitudinal barriers they experience in their efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This population is often denied opportunities to participate in health promotion programs due to lack of accessibility, lack of trained personal, and/or discrimination. Furthermore, available health promotion programming lacks cultural relevance to Latinos. Grounded in the ecological model, the researcher developed a coalition with a community agency to promote healthy lifestyles among youth with disabilities and their families. At the individual level, a culturally relevant health promotion intervention was developed in collaboration with the community. The cultural relevant intervention attends to the values and norms of the target group, behavioral preferences, language preference, and ways of learning and doing, among other dimensions. The intervention involves multigenerational 2-hour weekly sessions of physical activity and Latin dance, health education, self-management/goal setting, and social learning on how to navigate the environment. At the neighborhood and community level, the team addressed environmental barriers to physical activity and community engagement through a walkability and participation safety campaign. This study has implications for the design of community-based culturally tailored health promotion interventions and for addressing health disparities among Latinos with disabilities.

5. "The Impact of Trauma on Children and Adolescents"
Mirna Ballestas, Psy.D and Crystal Balfour, Psy.D

This training will discuss the impact of trauma on children and adolescents. Differences between acute trauma and complex trauma; and longstanding effects will be presented. We will discuss how trauma impacts a child’s developing brain in addition to the community and contextual factors that may worsen the effect of trauma. Lastly, this training will focus on ways to help children and families foster resiliency and overcome the impact of trauma.

Lunch (12:30pm – 1:30pm)

PM Breakout Sessions (1:30pm – 3:00pm)

1. "Building Capacity to Address the Barriers to Mental Health Care in the Latino/a Community" (Panel) 
Cynthia Taylor Handrup, DNP, APN, PMHCNS-BC, Marsha Snyder, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, Rebecca Clay, RN, MS., and Antonia Hernandez, RN, M.Ed. 

Latino/adults (and consequently children) in need of mental health care are less likely than non-Latino whites to receive mental health services, and when they do receive care, it is likely to be poor in quality. As a result, Latinos and other racial and ethnic minorities experience a disproportionate burden of disease (WHO statistic) associated with mental disorders. Though Latino adults’ rates of psychiatric disorders, on average, are similar to those of non-Latino whites, this increases with time lived in the U.S. This trend suggests that due to these acculturation issues, future Latino needs for mental health services will increase as the population increases. Without efforts to build capacity to address the barriers to mental health care in the community, understand how Latinos view mental disorders, what factors may influence their access to services, and how to deliver integrated mental health care in the community, Latinos will continue to suffer disproportionately from unmet mental health needs. This panel will present some of the common barriers to accessing mental health care in the Latino community and discuss various alternative ways to effectively deliver mental health services in this community.

2. "EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy" 
Daniel B. Martinez, MD

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), first developed in 1989 by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., is an integrative psychotherapy approach to treating trauma. EMDR utilizes elements from different treatment approaches and works to help the brain process information, in particular, negative or traumatic events that the brain may keep “frozen in time,” due to being unable to process within the moment. During this presentation, Dr. Martinez will provide an overview of EMDR, the impact it has on working through traumas, and an outline of the various phases of EMDR. Furthermore, Dr. Martinez will focus on the implications EMDR has when working with a Latino/a patient, and discuss the availability of EMDR in the Chicago area.

3. "The 5 Reiki Principles and The Law of Attraction"
Luz-Marie Caro – Certified Reiki Master, CEO of A Light At The End, Bilingual Talk Show Co-Host of “The Luz and Dolly Show,” Holistic Life Coach, International Speaker, and author.

Human beings can be seen as systems of energy. Accepting this premise, life energy becomes essentially and the most basic element of the human energy system. Reiki utilizes the basic elements of life energy as a form of healing. Through the practice of the art, bring consciously with this energy, individuals learn more and become more aware. As a Reiki Master and through her first-hand experiences, Luz Marie Caro discusses the impact the 5 Reiki Principles has on loving one self, changing negative thinking, and shifting attention to achieving a more balanced, abundant, fulfilled, and happier life. Furthermore, Luz Marie Caro explore the connection between 5 Reiki Principles and the Law of Attraction and the impact it has in creating change in individuals’ lives.

4. "Culturally Competent Mental Health Practice with Latino Immigrants: Shifting the Paradigm of Cultural Competence" 
Caitlin L. O’Grady, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D

The term “cultural competence” often receives criticism for treating culture as an unchanging construct and for failing to take into account the larger environmental context in which individuals are situated. This presentation offers an alternate paradigm for conceptualizing cultural competence. Grounded in findings from a case study of a branch of Saint Anthony Hospital’s Community Wellness Program that provides mental health services to uninsured Latino immigrant adults, this presentation will describe a model of culturally competent service delivery in which services are informed not only by an understanding of community members’ cultural values and beliefs, but also by an understanding of community members’ lived experiences within their environment. This understanding of community members’ lived experiences within their environment shapes the Community Wellness Program’s strategies for facilitating mental health service access and engagement, as well as their mental health practice strategies, at both the level of the organization and the level of the individual provider. This presentation will discuss concrete practice strategies that the Community Wellness Program employs and will additionally discuss how these practice strategies are informed by an understanding of community members’ acculturative experiences and their experiences interacting with oppressive social structures across multiple levels of their environment.

5. "Using Resistance as an Engagement Tool"
Jose M Viruet, LCPC, CRADC

“Resistance” in young adults can look like avoidance, but often is observed as maladaptive behaviors that disrupt treatment. To mental health professionals, “resistance” is seen as “shutting down,” “being irritable,” “aggressive,” “manipulating,” and/or “non-compliant.” As professionals, for a number of reasons we struggle with understanding the underlying needs that young people have when being “resistant.” By increasing our understanding and awareness of young person needs, the conflict cycle, and our personal tendencies in response to young person “resistance” (i.e., emotional competence), we can effectively engage young people in mental health treatment and support their recovery.

Break (3:00pm - 3:15pm)

Panel and call to action (3:15pm - 4:45pm)

"The Rights of Migrants under Trump: Reflection Care and Action"
Rebecca Evans Ford-Paz, PhD, Oscar A. Chacon, Executive Director, Alianza Americas and Cathy Ortiz, LCSW

This panel will address the current Immigration political climate, discuss the needed resources to help increase resiliency among the Latino/a community, and help participants explore and understand their individual and collective role as “advocates” for not only their participants/client but for the Latino/a community as a whole.

Evaluations Collection / CEU handout (4:45pm - 5:00PM)

Closing event/Cocktail Reception (4:45pm - 5:30pm)



What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There will be parking lots available on premise for free parking. As you arrive, please be mindful of any signage that may have specific directions about parking. We will not be held liable for any issues that may arise. 

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
For any questions you may have regarding the conference and your registration, please email:  

What's the refund policy?
100% of the conference registration is refundable up to 48 hours before the program. Within 48 hours of the program, conference registration is nonrefundable. 

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
While your printed ticket is not necessary, it is encourage since it provides confirmation of your registration and the workshops you have registered for. 

Can I update my registration information?
Attendees will be able to update their information through the EventBrite page. We ask that changes be made no later than Friday, October 6th, 2017. If you are having trouble making changes, please send an email to

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?
Your registration fee and ticket can be transferrable up until Friday, October 6th, 2017. For any transfers, please send an email to

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?
Due to safety and organization, we require the name on the ticket/registration to match the person who attends. If any changes and transfers need to be made, we ask that you do so by Friday, October 6th, 2017. 

Is there still an opportunity to Sponsor the conference?
We are still accepting Sponsorship for those are interested. You may plead at a Bronze ($500), Silver ($1,000), or Gold ($2,000) Level. Other sponsorship level opportunities are available. For more information, please contact Mayra Chacon at We will be accepting Sponsorship applications until mid September. Each level of sponsorship includes various benefits, including conference registration, table for matieral display, and AD space in the program. 

Will there be any other activities going on the day of the Conference?
Throughout the day of the conference, you will be able to network and meet our Sponsors of the conference. Each sponsor will have their own table to display material as well as provide great insight into the services they provide. This a great opportunity to learn more about the services in the Chicago-land area for referrals and case management. 

Also, located on the second floor of the building, we will have an ongoing art project titled, "Arte Es Medicina: Healing the Wounds of Cultural Erasure and Gentrification through Community Art Making." This project is intended to give mental health professionals at the Latino Behavioral Health conference an opportunity to engage and experience the healing effects of participating in the creation of a traveling medicine mural which honors the history and present-day gentrification struggles of the Pilsen community. All participants from the LBHC are encouraged to dip a brush and leave their mark and healing intentions for personal and community healing.

Have questions about 2017 Latino/a Behavioral Health Conference: The Evolution of Mental Health Services & Social Justice? Contact Latino/a Mental Health Providers Network

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When & Where

The Arturo Velasquez Westside Technical Institute
2800 South Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608

Friday, October 13, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CDT)

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Latino/a Mental Health Providers Network

The Latino/a Mental Health Provider Network’s goal is to increase the number of culturally competent mental health professionals, resulting in the development of more readily accessible mental health services for the Latino community.

 The LMHPN strategically recruits community agencies providing mental health services to a wide variety of Latino populations, and offers comprehensive capacity-building trainings to increase their cultural competence.  Having its roots in the Center for Latino/a Mental Health at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the network also promotes sharing resources and information about key services among member agencies. It also supports the agencies through the placement of bilingual/bicultural graduate psychology student interns and volunteers, many of whom implement valuable community projects.


Latino/a Behavioral Health Conference

This annual event began twenty-four years ago in 1991 with the purpose of promoting education, awareness, and prevention of mental health issues that affect the Latino/a population. We strive to continue to increase cultural competence, capacity for effective service delivery, and awareness of services barriers to conference participants. 

  Contact the Organizer
2017 Latino/a Behavioral Health Conference: The Evolution of Mental Health Services & Social Justice
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