May 2017 Chair’s Corner

It’s May and May is Mental Health Month.

Mental health is an area of emphasis of the Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition and has been from the start of our Coalition with the Mental Health Action Team (MHAT).

The goals of MHAT include:

  • Advocate for quality and accessibility of mental health services for Latinos.
  • Support and hold accountable the agencies that provide mental health services for Latinos.
  • Reduce stigma surrounding mental health issues.
  • Address the need for more bilingual mental health providers.

Recently, the group received funding to train volunteers to staff a text line that will help community members suffering from mental health concerns or in need of support. Every person can be at risk of mental health issues and these issues can be triggered by different types of experiences. The text line is a way to provide support for people that are passing through hardship or stress. Text APOYO to 839-863 to communicate with someone via text or to inquire about volunteer opportunities with the program.

MHAT has also gathered local resources and made them available in Spanish for the community.
If you are interested in learning more about or participating in MHAT, please feel free to join us at our monthly meetings. Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of each month at 8:00am at Mental Health America, 600 W Virginia Suite 502, Milwaukee.

Additionally, Mental Health America is focusing this Mental Health Month on risky behaviors that may be signs of mental health issues. For their toolkit of resources, check out their site here. We will be highlighting other topics being celebrated in the month of May on our Facebook and Twitter, like healthy vision, physical fitness, and hepatitis awareness, so please be sure to follow us!

On a personal note, I regret to inform you that I have submitted my resignation from my positions as Chair of our Steering Committee and as Chair of MHAT. This has been an extremely challenging decision to make, as the Coalition and the work that we do has been something that has been very near and dear to me over the last years.

In light of my departure, Caroline Gomez-Tom, currently Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee, will serve as Chair of the Steering Committee. Sylvia Cortez, currently Co-Chair of MHAT, will serve as Chair of the action team. These women are bright, strong leaders and I am positive that they will lead our teams to continued success.

While I appreciate the initiatives we have put in place and the things that we do to better the Latino community, this decision is to be effective immediately. I have enjoyed my time serving on the Coalition and am grateful for our experiences. Thank you, for all that you do!

Ursula Flores