July is national Minority Mental Health Month. In honor of the great work done statewide, AHCCCS is highlighting the work of several community partners. Valle del Sol, based in Phoenix, was founded by Latino activists. CEO Carmen Heredia answered a few questions about Valle del Sol and how they help to address minority mental health needs.
1. Would you mind describing how your organization addresses minority mental health?
Valle del Sol was founded 50 years ago by activists in the Latino community that were seeking culturally competent mental health and social services in the valley. Even though our organization is open to everyone, the strong roots as a Latino founded, Latino led, and Latino serving organization are still core to our makeup and mission.
Minorities often have a distrust of government and health services due to system issues and years of oppressive practices that exclude and marginalize people. We know health disparities exist and they are pronounced among communities of color.
For the last 50 years, Valle del Sol has established itself as a trusted voice and a go-to advocate for the Latino community. Our Hispanic Leadership Institute now has over 1,800 alumni that have graduated from our programs and many are in elected positions from school boards to the U.S. Congress. We use this network and this platform to advocate for minorities, for health and human services on a frequent basis in the media and in the legislature. Addressing health disparities is a tenant of our organization.
2. Is any of your programming offered in other languages?
Yes, all services are available in Spanish and usually by a bilingual service provider or in-house interpreter. We pride ourselves in hiring bilingual Spanish/English staff and make it a required skill set for all our front desk, call center, and medical assistant support staff. We work hard at recruiting bilingual professional staff as counselors, doctors, and nurses across our programs. We offer our staff a language stipend differential for testing at a qualified bilingual level.
We utilize a variety of resources and vendors to provide services in languages other than Spanish and English such as Akorbi, the Language Line, and Bromberg and Associates.
3. What would you like members of the community to know about Valle and your work with minority mental health?
Valle del Sol offers culturally competent services our aim is to provide equitable access to high quality healthcare.
4. How can those interested in your services contact you?
İClaro que si! Valle del Sol 602-523-9312 www.valledelsol.com
For more information about Minority Mental Health Month, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness for resources. Read our other provider profiles about HEAAL and NACA .