A conference aimed at mental health professionals who want to better serve the growing Hispanic community in North Texas will take place on Friday at Dallas College’s Mountain View campus. The event is organized by the Canneta Foundation, a nonprofit based in Addison that focuses on providing access to mental health care for the Hispanic community by addressing financial barriers and reducing stigmas.
Hilda McClure, a board member and licensed professional counselor at the Canneta Foundation, highlights the importance of therapists and social workers being equipped to serve diverse populations. She emphasizes that serving all individuals well, regardless of ethnicity, is crucial in the mental health field.
The Canneta Foundation has two key initiatives: “Project Ayuda,” which focuses on providing affordable mental health services to clients, and “Project Adelante,” which seeks to elevate bilingual clinicians in the community. Unfortunately, there is a significant disparity between the Hispanic population in Texas, which makes up about 40% of the total population, and the representation of Latino or Hispanic mental health providers, which stands at only 16% out of over 7,000 surveyed.
The upcoming conference will be conducted in both English and Spanish, with a focus on sharing best practices for mental health professionals and educating the public about mental health treatments, reducing stigmas, and promoting the idea that attending therapy is normal. Local mental health providers such as Therapy Works, Papalotl Therapy, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of North Texas will lead workshops covering various topics relevant to the Hispanic community, including intergenerational and transgenerational trauma, marriage and intimacy for first-generation Americans, and best practices for social worker wages.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Ignacio “Nacho” Jarero, a certified telemental health and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing clinician. Tickets for the conference can be purchased through the Canneta Foundation website, with discounts available for students. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 4849 W, Illinois Ave, and all proceeds will go to supporting the work and projects of the Canneta Foundation.
McClure emphasizes that the conference coincides with the U.S. celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, aiming to raise awareness about mental health care needs within the Hispanic community and celebrate Hispanic heritage.