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Latino Mental Health Organizations Fight for More Funding

by Laura Macchiarola
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wallyg, flickr.

Mental health groups and Latino communities say more mental health programs are a must.

Mental health clinics throughout New York State are fighting to stay open. 

Latino mental health providers met with city officials on Friday to request more federal and state funding for mental health programs.  Jose Ortiz-Ortiz is the executive director of the Spanish Speaking Elderly Council of Raices.  He said 85% of New Yorkers seeking mental health services are Latino, and the closing of Spanish-speaking mental health clinics would be disastrous for the community.

"We want to make sure that the public and the elected officials are aware that there is a crisis," said Ortiz-Ortiz, "and if this comes to fruition, then the Latino population, who is in need of mental health services, will suffer."

Ortiz-Ortiz also said clients need mental health care more than ever, especially in light of Superstorm Sandy. 

Soledad Hiciano, the executive director of the Community Association of Progressive Dominicans, said the requested funding will pay for more clinical social workers, medication management, and therapy opportunities for people who otherwise cannot afford it.

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