Improving Mental Health in Milwaukee's Latinx Population

Improving the mental health of Spanish-speaking residents living in Milwaukee Police District Two

Full Project Name:Improving Mental Health of Milwaukee's Latinx Population Through Increased Neighborhood EngagementPrimary Community Organization:CORE El CentroPrimary Academic Partner:Melissa DeNomie, MS, Family MedicinePrincipal Investigator:Courtney Barry, PsyD, Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:$350,715
Award Date
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:

Latinx populations immigrating to the U.S. demonstrate reduced mental health compared to the general population, and experience a lack of culturally appropriate services. Latinx populations in states with exclusionary immigration policies or practices report more poor mental health days than Latinx populations in less exclusionary states. Studies have found decreased depression in neighborhoods with higher levels of collective efficacy and support the role of civic engagement in reducing negative mental health and assisting in recovery from mental illness.

This project aims to improve the mental health of Spanish-speaking residents living in Milwaukee Police District Two, which has the highest population density of Latinx residents in Milwaukee. Using a multisector partnership of law enforcement, community-based paraprofessionals, public health professionals, and community organizations, the project will aim to address challenges such as policing/deportation fears, language barriers, and immigration/resettlement trauma while gaining knowledge to better serve Latinx populations.

Project Updates:

  • Engaged project partners in training on trauma-informed care, microaggressions, and healthy communication training
  • Launched a resident survey process to capture current attitudes toward police in identified neighborhoods
  • Established opportunities to share project progress and plans by engaging in regular meetings such as Milwaukee Police Department Block Watch revisioning meetings, Mujeres con Poder meetings, and more to engage individuals and officers as champions of the work of this project; established partnership with MPD for a successful National Night Out event in August 2021
  • Increased engagement at monthly Crime & Safety Meeting, initiating efforts to increase resident engagement and attendance at key venues where their perspectives can be heard by community leaders and decision-makers

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350