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:Courtney Barry, PsyD, Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineAward Amount:$350,715
Award Date
October2020
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:


  • Hosted Cafe con La Policia (Coffee with the Police) event in March 2021 with over 100 residents and community leaders to build trust and communication between residents and police
  • Presented project efforts and findings at the Wisconsin Public Health Association annual conference in May 2021
  • Planning focus groups with the community to better understand the impact of recent events hosted with the police department to determine how they are impacting resident confidence and connection
  • Planning for Trauma Informed Care trainings/workshops for Milwaukee Police Department and residents

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