Speakers Bureau – Mental Health Action Team


Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition’s Mental Health Action Team is dedicated to improving the mental health of Milwaukee’s Latino community and individuals and achieving victory over mental illnesses through advocacy, information, education and support. The MLHC Mental Health Action Team Speakers Bureau supports this mission by educating the community about issues related to mental health and mental illness in the Latino community.

If you are interested, please see the speakers’ bios below and contact Martina Gollin-Graves at 414-336-7972 or e-mail martina@mhawisconsin.org to make a request for a presentation.


Jeanette Arellano has worked with non-profits for five years.  Her focus addresses community involvement with a hands-on approach, and she utilizes creative arts to inspire youth with an emphasis on education. As a result, she sought to identify the needs of the Latino Community incorporating available city resources to supplement her efforts and implement assistance. Jeanette is currently involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness as the Latino Outreach and Education Coordinator. Jeanette’s position at NAMI Greater Milwaukee enables her to assist and inform the Latino Community on strategies in avoiding the stigmas of mental illness. This method is delivered through a series of presentations and support groups for the Latino Community, while recognizing the importance of cultural awareness in the Spanish speaking community.

Topics: General Overview of Mental Illness: Signs and Symptoms; Severe Mental Health Disorders:  Signs and Symptoms; Holiday Stress and Depression; Statistics: Latinos and Mental Illness; Mental Illness and Stigma; Mental Health and Youth.

Sylvia Cortez, LCSW, is a committed professional with years of extensive experience and training in the areas of child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, trauma and suicide intervention. During her 10 years as a psychotherapist, Mrs. Cortez provided individual and couples counseling. Mrs. Cortez also co-facilitated a Coping with Divorce Group, a program for divorcing parents with an emphasis on the needs of children during this time of change. In her current position, Mrs. Cortez provides crisis intervention/prevention services to the chronically mentally ill and to other individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

Topics: Suicide Prevention/Intervention; Mental Health Disorders; Trauma; Domestic Violence

Leslie A. Davis, PhD, is a bilingual licensed psychologist (English-Spanish). She works at Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic located in Milwaukee on the near south side of Milwaukee in the Clock Shadow building. The health clinic’s mission is to provide care to individuals who are uninsured and who otherwise lack access to a health care home. At least 70 % of the clinic patients are Spanish language immigrants. Leslie’s services are restricted to Spanish language patients. Due to the nature of a primary care setting, she is a clinical generalist, serving all ages and offering both individual and couples/family therapy.  She is collaborating within the clinic on improving the integration of services. Leslie supervises trainees in pre-doctoral programs and trainees who hold Master degrees in counseling working toward hours for licensure. Leslie values collaborating with professionals and agencies working in Milwaukee’s Latino community in projects intended to improve and increase services for the community and she especially enjoys being an active participant on the Mental Health Action Team of the Coalition. As for public speaking, Leslie enjoys “sensitizing” professionals in health care and social service fields to issues related to mental health and Latino immigrants and she equally enjoys speaking with the Latino community about mental health, depression and self-care strategies.

Topics: Mental Health Disorders; Depression; Self-Care Strategies

Gabriela Diéguez Hurtado is a bilingual therapist.  She has been working at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center providing services to the inner city population in Milwaukee.  She is also a consultant for the Head Start program.  “I pursued the career of social work because I love to relate to people.  I enjoy being part of their process of growth, discovering their strengths and amplifying their community connections.”  Gabriela has also participated doing research on depression in adult Latinos and attention deficit problems in children. She has experience speaking on mental health issues.

Topics: Social Work in Community Health Clinic; Maternal and Infant Mental Health; Grief; Depression; Anxiety; General Mental Health, Stress, Emotional Development in children

Martina Gollin-Graves, MSW, is the Project and Outreach Manager with Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA).  Ms. Gollin-Graves manages all agency project objectives by planning and evaluating project activities; provides local and statewide mental health and suicide prevention presentations, conferences and training for businesses. She is a Mental Health Task Force steering committee member; assists in collaborative community projects; provides clinical support for the Strong Families Healthy Homes Program and coordinates the Survivors Helping Survivors support groups throughout the Milwaukee area.

Topics: General Mental Health; Depression; Anxiety Disorders; Bi-polar Disorder; Parenting with a Mental Illness.

Melissa Waldo received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  She is a bilingual (Spanish and English) licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.  As a social worker, she works with clients of all ages and economic and cultural backgrounds to address a variety of issues such as: domestic violence; child, vulnerable adults, and elder abuse and neglect; homelessness and financial hardships; mental health; parenting concerns; teenage pregnancies and so on.

Topics: Issues Affecting Youth (Cutting, Parent Conflict, Self-Esteem); Issues Affecting LGBT Community; Depression; Anxiety; Emotional Wellness