Elena aims to advance mental health equity, particularly by improving access to and cultural responsiveness of clinical services for children and families from marginalized communities. This is essential because mental health needs and disparities have continually increased over several decades. Research indicates that within many communities of color, diagnoses are more persistent and disabling; access to care is comparatively low; and for those able to receive mental health services, the quality, appropriateness, and acceptability of care received are comparatively poor. Specifically, Elena is building a program of community-engaged research to: 1) explore service models improving equity and access to care, 2) support community professionals (e.g., after-school staff, therapists) to implement culturally conscious, evidence-based practices, and 3) support institutional changes toward justice-focused, antiracist, anti-colonial training of mental health academics and providers.
MORE ABOUT ELENA
Elena is a Nicaraguan-Italian-American who brings a bicultural, justice-focused lens to clinical psychology. Her proximity to immigrants and economic inequity drives her to utilize her privilege to work in conjunction with marginalized communities at the intersection of research, policy, and practice to advance mental health equity.