NEWTON, Mass., Sept. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on Saturday, September 28, 2013, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) will host the 12th Annual Lucero Memorial 5K Run/Walk at 10 am at its new campus at One Wells Avenue, Newton, MA.
The race will benefit the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program named in memory of Dr. Cynthia Lucero, a much-loved community-oriented MSPP graduate from Ecuador who completed her doctoral degree days before the start of the 2002 Boston Marathon, during which she collapsed and died. The Lucero Mental Health program was created by Lucero's family and friends to carry on her legacy of commitment to Latinos and all underserved communities.
Research from the Institutes of Medicine and several Surgeon General's Reports (2001 and 2002) have shed light on the need for mental health services that are culturally and linguistically sensitive to people from diverse backgrounds, especially Latinos, who are the fastest growing segment of the US population.
Dr. Mari Carmen Bennasar, the new director of the Lucero Latino Mental Health program, agrees. "There is an understandable preference for discussing personal, emotional and psychological issues in their native language. "And, research has shown that they are also more likely to continue treatment and have successful therapeutic outcomes with someone who is attuned to their culture and language."
The goal of the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program is to train graduate-level psychology students to provide this culturally sensitive mental health care to Latino populations in their preferred language. Today, many MSPP graduates have completed this special training and are working with Latino clients.
"On the 12th anniversary of this run, we are tremendously proud of the program it supports. With less than 2 percent of mental health providers fluent in Spanish and the Latino culture, and Latinos making up an increasingly large percentage of our population, the need for competent mental health care providers is more important now than ever," said Dr. Nicholas Covino, President of MSPP.
Funds raised by the Run provide scholarships to help send the Latino Mental Health Program students to Ecuador and Costa Rica for an intensive four-week summer immersion program where they provide volunteer services to children and families in orphanages, hospitals, and AIDS and trauma clinics.
If you are interested in registering for the race or making a donation to the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program, please visit www.mspp.edu/lucerorunwalk for more information.
About MSPP—Founded in 1974 as an independent graduate school of psychology, MSPP provides unique training programs for mental health professionals at the doctoral, master's and certificate level, each designed to immerse students in both academic study and real-life clinical experience. Constantly assessing and evolving to meet the needs of a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society, MSPP currently offers programs to train highly skilled professionals to care for Latinos, veterans, children and adolescents and families in a variety of settings, including the schools, the courts, the community and the workplace, among others.
SOURCE Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology