Biennial Latine Mental Health Conference


Thank You for Attending Our 2022 Conference!

This year’s conference was a huge success, and it’s all thanks to YOU! We loved learning and being in community with you. You can find information from our 2022 conference below. If you have any questions, comments, or testimonies to share, please reach out to us at We would love to hear from you!


The challenges of recent years have placed a spotlight on how Latine and other minority communities inhabit a space of being both disproportionately impacted by sociocultural stressors while also displaying tremendous strengths and resilience. Join us in this virtual two-day conference for providers working with Latine families as we recognize the heaviness of our work while finding ways to harness the strengths within the community.

The 2022 El Futuro conference, A pesar de todo, seguimos: Supporting Latine Families, Communities, and Ourselves as Providers, will bring together cutting edge researchers and practitioners in the field to share models for understanding as well as practical ways of addressing ongoing therapeutic challenges in light of current world events. This conference will include interactive presentations and roundtable discussions giving attendees opportunities to engage with speakers in meaningful ways and come away better equipped to continue doing this important work.

Learn More About Our Sessions & Presenters!

Keeping Radical Hope Alive in a Draining World: Nourishing Latinx Families, Communities and Ourselves

Presented by: Hector Adames, PsyD & Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas, PhD

September 29th (9:15-10:45)

Working with Communities of Color as mental health providers requires us to listen and witness our clients’ suffering. This work profoundly impacts, leaving many of us feeling emotional, physically, socially, and spiritually drained. We are currently living through an era where experiences of loss, grief, and ethno-racial trauma have become pronounced, affecting the lives of our clients and ourselves. It is vital to develop ways for us to maintain a sense of radical hope by creating ways to nourish and replenish ourselves as we navigate an increasingly complex world. To provide optimal care for the families and communities we serve, we must revisit how we are impacted by the work and center how we care for ourselves. To achieve this goal, the presentation will (a) describe the frameworks of radical healing and hope, (b) discuss how to maintain radical hope amid challenging world events (e.g., ethno-racial trauma, pandemic, poverty, violence), (c) help mental health providers recognize the impact of empathic engagement on their wellbeing, and (d) develop strategies for self-nourishment.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the tenets of the Psychology of Radical Healing Framework.
  • Identify the tenets of the Radical Hope Framework.
  • Describe the impact of empathic engagement.
  • Identify strategies for maintaining radical hope.
  • Develop strategies they can use for self-nourishment. 

A Little Harder to Find Your Place: Latinx LGBTQ+ Youth and Family Belonging

Presented by: Maru Gonzalez, EdD, Tania Connaughton-Espino, MPH & Bianka Reese, PhD, MSPH 

September 29th (11:45-1:15)

Family acceptance and supportive behaviors, which assist in cultivating a sense of belonging, serve as protective factors for LGBTQ+ young people’s socioemotional and physical health. While LGBTQ+ young people are experiencing higher rates of family acceptance than previous generations, fears about self-disclosure persist, particularly among Latinx youth for whom family is central. This presentation will discuss the strengths and challenges experienced by Latinx LGBTQ+ youth and identify strategies for fostering belonging and support. Facilitators will close the session by sharing and discussing a resource aimed at facilitating conversations within families and communities and to increase support for Latinx LGBTQ+ youth. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the strengths and challenges experienced by Latinx LGBTQ+ youth. 
  • Discuss the role of familismo, machismo, and spirituality among Latinx LGBTQ+ youth belonging within a familial context. 
  • Identify strategies for supporting Latinx LGBTQ+ youth and their families.


Integrating Culture, Science, and Social Justice: A culturally adapted parenting intervention for Latinx families

 Presented by: Ruben Parra-Cardona, PhD

September 29th (1:45 – 3:15)

Mental health services for Latinos continue to be at risk of being informed by universal approaches. Informed by these challenges, Dr. Parra-Cardona will present a process of change framework utilized in a culturally adapted evidence-based parenting intervention for Latinx immigrant populations. The model is grounded in more than 15 years of community-based parenting prevention research with Latinx immigrant communities. The presenter will reflect about the critical importance of grounding clinical and prevention services for Latinx and diverse populations by balancing adherence to theory, empirical knowledge, as well as cultural and contextual relevance. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Be exposed to a theoretical and culturally relevant model associated with the process of change for parenting practices with Latinx populations.
  • Reflect about ways to inform prevention and clinical intervention according to contextual and cultural premises that are highly relevant in the lives of Latinx populations.
  • Reflect and discuss implications for their clinical practice, taking into consideration specific characteristics of their contexts and Latinx populations.


Cuidándonos: Understanding and Discussing How a Hostile Immigration Climate Affects Well-being in Latinx Communities

 Presented by: Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez, PhD

September 30th (9:05 – 10:35)

Dr. Barajas-Gonzalez will introduce a theoretical framework for understanding how a restrictive immigration climate can function as a form of psychological violence for some Latinx children. She will also present some quantitative and qualitative research findings from her study and others on the impact of a hostile immigration climate on Latinx children, parents, and educators. The presentation will conclude by discussing ways to show care and promote health in Latinx immigrant communities enduring a threatening immigration climate.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Describe how immigration policies and practices have changed over time in the United States
  • Describe how restrictive immigration policies and racialized enforcement practices can adversely impact Latinx children through threat and deprivation
  • Describe how restrictive immigration policies and racialized enforcement practices can adversely impact Latinx parents and educators


Working with Latina Adolescents who Attempt Suicide: The Importance of Moral Distress 

 Presented by: Lauren Gulbas PhD

September 30th (11:00 – 12:30)

Given the growth of the Latino population in the U.S., much has been written about the needs and issues affecting Latino families including discrimination and the effects of immigration enforcement. Increasingly, providers are called upon to provide linguistically and culturally competent services in their work with Latino clients. Little attention has been paid, however, toward understanding the experiences of providers who are tasked with alleviating the problems of marginalized and vulnerable populations, which often leads to provider burnout, turnover, and compromised quality of services. Guided by the framework of equity and social justice, the purpose of this presentation is to answer the following question: What are the experiences, challenges, and recommendations of social service providers working with Latino families? Using suicide risk as a lens to evaluate clinical theory and practice, this presentation will draw attention to the tensions providers experience due to limitations in social service delivery models that fail to address the structural barriers Latino families—and other marginalized groups—face. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the helping professions need to go beyond recommendations for self-care to prevent provider burnout and address the inherent paradoxes in service provision for oppressed and vulnerable groups.  

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Evaluate how current theories of suicide risk preclude attention to structural factors, such as migration trauma, immigration enforcement, social isolation, and racism. 
  • Compare and contrast concepts of “cultural risk” and “structural risk” to avoid pathologizing culture and misplacing the target of interventions. 
  • Describe the need for a shift in clinical practice toward a social action model to show an authentic commitment to equity and social justice and to empower both providers and the communities they serve.


“Where do we go from here?”: From the conference to our day-to-day practice

Presented by: Alvely Alcántara, LCSW, Everardo Aviles, LCSW, LCAS, Rossy C. Garcia, MEd, and Katy Sims, MD

September 30th (1:30 – 3:00)

At La Mesita, we work to reduce the gap between research and practice. After five sessions with presentations on ways to support the Latinx community from a mental health perspective, participants may be wondering how to bring these ideas into their work and how they may impact their clients and themselves. Join us in our panel discussion to hear from colleagues from different disciplines and settings as they respond and reflect on the learning session and share their insights into how the ideas shared during the conference can be applied on the ground. Participants will have a space to individually reflect on their own practice, as well as the opportunity to ask questions to contribute to the panel discussion.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Reflect on their own current practices and ways to enhance their services based on the information shared in the conference 
  • Identify specific interventions to implement within 30- and 90- days of attending the conference 
  • Recognize ways to engage in individual self-care strategies as well as paths for advocacy and systemic change 

Continuing Education Information

Wake AHEC and El Futuro are cosponsors of this program. This cosponsorship has been approved by NBCC. Wake AHEC is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6477. The ACEP solely is responsible for this program, including the awarding of NBCC credit.

Category A NC Psychology Credit: This program will provide 9.25 contact hours (Category A) of continuing education for North Carolina Psychologists.  Partial credit will not be awarded.

Wake AHEC CEUs: Wake AHEC will provide 0.9 CEU to participants upon completion of this activity.

A participant must attend 100% of the program to receive credit. Partial credit will not be awarded.

Contact Hours: Wake AHEC will provide up to 9.25 Contact Hours to participants.

Participants are responsible for checking with their state licensing board or accrediting organization to determine if the event meets their continuing education requirements.

To be awarded continuing education units (CEs), participants must order CE units, attend the session in its entirety, and complete the online evaluation.


Thank You!

We are so thankful to our partners at NC DHHS & SAMHSA for sponsoring this year’s La Mesita conference. Thanks to their sponsorship, we were able to offer this year’s conference at no charge to you!

Contact Us

  • Please contact if you have a concern or complaint you’d like to share regarding La Mesita. While we do not promise any outcomes, the individual will receive a response with the teams’ considerations and decision within two weeks time.
  • Please reach out to to let us know if you need disability accommodations.