July is designated as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and in an effort to bring awareness to these issues ReEmployAbility would like to spotlight our Not-for-Profit partner Latino Health Access, for its positive impact on the physical and mental health of the Latino community in California.

By bringing awareness to the struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States, we hope to provide knowledge while addressing the stigma about mental health among racial and ethnic minority populations.

Decades of Access to Health

Latino Health Access is an organization that was established in 1993 in Santa Ana, CA. Its vision is to help create a healthy, equitable, inclusive, and prosperous community that is engaged and civically active, especially in the area of health and wellness. The organization partners with communities to improve health and bring equity, and sustainable change through education, services, consciousness-raising, and civic participation. This organization has been fortunate to have accomplished so much for it’s community, all based on trust.

Latino Health Access Multimedia Communications coordinator Jasmin Portillo, with the help of her colleagues, provided some insight on all the great work they do for the people that need them the most. Most recently, they completed a partnership with AltaMed on their campaign called ¡Ándale! ¿Qué esperas? “Come on, what are you waiting for?”. Last year alone, the nonprofit vaccinated over 18,000 people, including young children ages five and up, and were amongst the first locations to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 14 when areas carrying this vaccine were extremely limited.

Bringing Communities Together with Transition2Work®

ReEmployAbility is fortunate enough to have maintained a beneficial partnership with Latino Health Access through our Transition2Work® program. Jasmin can attest that “Latino Health Access has benefited immensely from the Transition2Work program.” She goes on to explain that one of the major projects for this collaboration has been at the organizations own Familias Corazones Verdes Park and Community Center. The community center has become a safe green space for families to enjoy the outdoors while attending various classes hosted by the staff. Volunteers and Transition2Work participants collaborated in maintaining a clean, beautiful environment for the members of the community to be served with dignity. Jasmin praised these efforts stating, “Thanks to our volunteers, children from the community can safely play in the green space and enjoy time with their families.”

The Injured workers from the Transition2work program have been said to “add value” to the organization and to it’s mission, but there is also a lot the injured worker may gain from participating in the program. Despite being injured, the feeling of making a difference can empower one with a sense of purpose and pride in the work they are doing for their local community. It has been proven that people who volunteer tend to recover from their injuries at a faster rate, along with an increase in mental health and social skills. The mental health of the injured worker assigned to Latino Health Access tends to show improvement, as observed by other volunteers and staff members. They are “positively empowered” to continue with their recovery at their own pace while building camaraderie with the Latino Health Access team. By learning about the resources offered at the nonprofit, people within our Transition2Work program can use them to their advantage, and even have the opportunity to provide encouragement to others who they know that could utilize them as well.

A Lasting Message and What’s to Come

The most important message our friends at Latino Health Access would like people to know is that the nonprofit “works toward creating healthier communities through a culturally competent and collaborative approach, a system where healthcare and access to opportunities to develop one’s potential and enjoy healthy, active living can be viewed as a right and not a privilege.” Latino Health Access continues to serve their community with the most pressing needs. Whether it be the need for a COVID-19 vaccination and testing, food on your table, advocacy training, or family resources, Latino Health Access will be there to lend a hand.

The team at Latino Health Access would like to invite people to the nonprofits 29th Annual Awards Celebration which will be held on Saturday, Oct 22, 2022. Visit their website www.latinohealthaccess.org or social media channels @LatinoHealthAccess for more information.

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