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Nonprofit Offers Mental Health Services To Spanish Speaking Community

Jewish Family Services

Jewish Family Service is a nonprofit social service organization that supports people of all faiths. The Park City branch of the organization has extended services to the Spanish speaking community in the area.

Executive Director of Jewish Family Service Ellen Silver explains through a grant the organization was able to hire a therapist, Roxana Cordova, to provide affordable mental health services to the Latinx community.

“Just a wonderful opportunity to reach out to a community who we know needs access to these services,” Silver said. “One of the great things about having Roxana is not only that she's fluent in Spanish but that she is a native speaker. I think understands the important cultural pieces and therefore has been really successful in engaging individuals and families in the counseling process.”

Silver says the program has been so successful and the demand so high that they’re planning to hire a second full-time therapist in the near future.

“Roxana is up here three full days a week and has a waiting list for service,” Silver continued. “So, that indicates to us certainly that there is a need. A lot of word of mouth, because people’s experiences have been positive. Roxana is getting a lot of referrals from friends of people who she seen, and so we know there's a need.”

Cordova explains some of the mental health issues that the Latinx community faces in the area.

“There's a lot of stigma regarding mental health,” Cordova explained. “Often times it's hard to seek help, and then when someone does come in the door, they have a different perception of what mental health looks like. So, at the very beginning I do a lot of education. Kind of explain the continuum of services. Because a lot of them feel that when they walk in the door that they’re crazy and their emotions are unmanageable. Sometimes family members will make certain comments regarding the mental health. So, at first, I try and educate them and then slowly build the rapport so they can trust me, and then we can dive into deeper things. But there's a lot of trauma that's associated with migration and leaving family members behind. Then trying to live both cultures and then having children here and then the fear of deportation. Not having access to certain services or being misinformed about services regarding Medicaid and what's going on around the nation.”

Cordova says she can accommodate somewhere from 15-18 patients, those interested in being placed on a wait list can call the Park City office at 435-731-8455.

Although Cordova herself cannot prescribe medication to those who may need it, Silver says there are a group of organizations sharing an Advanced Practitioner Nurse who can prescribe psychiatric medication and do assessments.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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