Senator Among Guest Speakers

Serving the Mental Health Needs of Latinos Topic of March 17 Conference

March 12, 2007

By Mimi Ko Cruz

Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) and Steven R. Lopez, professor of clinical psychology and Chicano studies at UCLA, will deliver the keynote addresses at the California Latino Mental Health Conference March 17 in the Titan Student Union.

“The number of Latinos in the United States is growing fast,” said Olga L. Mejia, assistant professor of counseling and president of the California Latino Psychological Association (CLPA). “The issues that affect us, from immigration to family conflicts, drug use and educational opportunities, are huge. The purpose of this conference is to address those issues and introduce research to clinicians and the community.”

During the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. event, speakers will discuss topics that affect Latinos. Some of the speakers and their topics include:
  • Elena Flores, clinical psychologist and University of San Francisco associate professor of counseling psychology, “La Cultura Cura: Indigenous Healing in Chicano/Latino Mental Health”;
  • Celia Jaes Falicov, UC San Diego clinical professor of psychiatry and author of “Latino Families in Therapy: A Guide to Multicultural Practice,” “Cultural Themes in the Contemporary Latino Family”;
  • Luis Garcia, a psychologist who is developing programs designed to focus on Latino clients and family needs for Pacific Clinics, “Outreach and Engagement for Latinos from a Cultural Perspective and Video Presentation;
  • Eduardo Morales, interim director of the Ph.D. Clinical Program at Alliant International University, “Changing the HIV Epidemic: New strategies for Latinos.”
Lopez’ keynote address, “Cultural Competence as Process: Moving Beyond Culture as Ethnicity” will present a conceptualization of culture that focuses on local social worlds rather than ethnicity. He integrates the perspective in a model of cultural competence referred to as “shifting cultural lenses.” As part of his presentation, he will introduce some training exercises and discuss the application of the model to a clinical case.

Conference participants will be served lunch and dinner. Romero will speak at the lunch and the Mariachi Divas will entertain during dinner.

Cost is $50 for members of the California Latino Psychological Association, $60 for the general public and $10 for students. For more information, visit

The conference, hosted by the College of Health and Human Development, Counseling Department and CLPA, is funded by a University Mission & Goals Initiative.
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