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Press Release

Press Release

Sunday, September 25, MSPP holds Fourth Annual 5K Lucero Memorial Run

Will Raise Funds for New England’s First Program Training Psychologists to Develop Linguistic (Spanish) and Cultural Competence to Care for Latinos

EVENT
Dr. Cynthia Lucero Memorial Run and Walk

WHERE
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP),
221 Rivermoor Street, West Roxbury

WHEN
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Pre-Registration: 10 AM
Start Time: 10:30 AM

WHY
To raise funds for the new Lucero Center’s Latino Mental Health Program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, one of the first programs in the country and the first and only in New England to train psychologists to develop Spanish fluency and cultural competence to care for the underserved Latino community. The program is inspired by the memory of Dr. Cynthia Lucero, MSPP graduate, marathon runner and organ donor.

WHAT
5K Run/Walk, cook out and family day activities run from 10 AM to 3 PM


WEST ROXBURY, MA – On Sunday, September 25, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) will hold its fourth annual Lucero Memorial 5K Run/Walk to benefit MSPP’s Lucero Center’s Latino Mental Health Program, one of the first programs in the country and the first and only program in New England designed to train Latino and non-Latino psychologists to develop linguistic (Spanish) and cultural competence to care for the Latino community.

Inspiration for the race and the new Lucero Latino Mental Health Program comes from its namesake, Dr. Cynthia Lucero, a graduate of MSPP from Ecuador, who collapsed and later died running the 2002 Boston Marathon and whose career focused on the needs of Spanish speakers. Proceeds from the race will be used for scholarship support

Launched this week (9/22), the MSPP Lucero Latino Mental Health Program seeks to fill an urgent need for Spanish- speaking psychologists, who understand the complex mental health needs of Latinos and the barriers to access, beginning with the fact that mental illness is often stigmatized in Latino communities.

“Even among Latinos who access mental health services, 50 percent never return after their first visit, most likely due to a lack of ‘cultural fit,’” says Amaro Laria, PhD, director of MSPP’s Latino Mental Health Program.

While a handful of other psychology programs in the U.S. may focus on Latino needs, the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program is the first of its kind to promote Spanish fluency among students with an intermediate level of Spanish. The immersion program requires doctoral candidates to undergo two summers of intensive language study in Latin America, with four years of additional language support during the academic years, as well as at working at clinical sites that serve Latinos.

The program seeks to remedy a glaring imbalance between the mental health needs of Latinos and the number of psychologists trained to address them. By 2050, it is estimated that one quarter of the country’s population will be Latino, yet only two percent of psychologists are equipped to treat them.

The program comes under the auspices of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology’s Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center, which was founded by friends and family of Dr. Lucero. The center also sponsors lectures and scholarships in Dr. Lucero’s memory.

Updated 10/1/07

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