Promoting mental health in Richmond’s Latino community
In 2015, Rosalie Corona, Ph.D., facilitated a discussion with community partners about critical health issues in Richmond’s Latina/o community. A key finding? Not enough bilingual mental health providers and limited access to needed services.
She is now training 50 members of the Latina/o community to become mental health “first responders,” able to identify mental health symptoms and connect with services. These health workers will address the cultural stigmas related to mental health and decrease barriers to receiving assistance.
“For me, research, teaching and service are totally integrated. The impact of my scholarship is not just in journal publications, but rather how many people within the community have access to care.” A perfect example of that is her founding and directing the VCU Latina/o Mental Health Clinic, working with community partners and VCU psychology doctoral students to provide mental health services to the community.
Corona has partnered with some of the same community organizations for over a decade. These relationships began as a result of her connection with the Division of Community Engagement. “When I was brand new to VCU, Cathy Howard [vice provost of community engagement] heard about my research interests, and scheduled a meeting with various stakeholders. It was my first connection to the community, and it was the start of it all.”