In New Mexico there are not enough resources to meet the need of our multilingual and multicultural community when it comes to mental/behavioral health. The providers in these fields do not reflect the demographics of the state’s population, meaning there is a lack of services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for Latino Students. 

In order to address this need, El Puente de Encuentros (EPdE), in partnership with UNM’s El Centro de la Raza, has created a program to train and prepare future clinicians to be culturally and racially diverse in their professional careers.

“El Puente de Encuentros Fellowship program, will not only support the educational and professional journey of UNM Students enrolled in the fields of Psychology, Social Work, Counseling, and Psychiatry, it will also contribute to providing greater support to students so they may successfully enter a job market that is expected to have around a 14 percent growth in the near future,” said Jorge Garcia, senior program manager at El Centro de la Raza.

The fellowship includes a two-semester mentoring program to support undergraduate and graduate students interested in becoming clinicians in the behavioral health field, in addition to assessing the trends and needs in the field by carrying out research and advocating for policies that support training culturally diverse behavioral health clinicians to meet the needs of a changing population.

A stipend of $500 will be given to students who complete the program.

“The overarching goal is to provide special set of skills so our students can have better professional choices and opportunities,” said Garcia. “They will be able to become supervisors, directors of agencies, or they can own their own consulting businesses. These trainees will be able to move up professionally within state agencies, and become agents of change, both at the community, state, and national levels.”

This program kicks off this fall and will run through the spring 2018 semester. Interested students can find more information at the El Centro de la Raza office located in Mesa Vista Hall or visit the El Centro website.

About El Centro de la Raza
El Centro de la Raza provides tools for self-determination, personal responsibility and resiliency of Raza students at the University of New Mexico. 

About El Puente de Encuentros
El Puente de Encuentros will bring cultural and linguistic awareness to New Mexico’s behavioral health needs and will take action to meet those needs.