Our Research To Understand Trauma Is Grounded
In the Testimonios and Experiences Of The Community
The Latino Trauma Institute is committed to advocacy, research and the development of culturally relevant mental health practices that address trauma in Latino communities that are often not understood through traditional clinical lenses. Our work categorizes and explores UndocuTrauma, Racial Trauma, Migration Trauma and Border Politics impacting children and families. We are actively working on understanding the impact of "La Perrera" on children being held in detention. This work is born out of active work being done at the border, in rural communities with children and families and is rooted in direct practice and research at the non profit program of ALAS where the cultural arts are being used as a focus of healing. The Latino Trauma Institute works closely with the Bay Area Border Relief Team and the University of San Francisco that is directly working on the front lines at the South Texas Border to provide direct support and care for families being released from ICE Detention.
Founder and Director, Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga has spent twenty one years working with Latino mental health with a focus on child trauma in the Bay Area. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco in the School of Education, Counseling Psychology department where she is the Coordinator of the USF MFT Program in San Jose, California. Dr. Hernandez Arriaga has developed both research and practice that seeks to understand trauma in undocumented and mixed status children. Her clinical work has developed the concept of "UndocuTrauma" which explores the psychological fear that both undocumented and mixed status children live with. Since the separation of children and families, Dr. Hernandez Arriaga has been part of the Bay Area Border Relief team to make regular visits to border to support the many children and families being released from ICE Detention. As part of the Latino Institute she has worked closely with immigrate attorney's in the Bay Area to complete psychological evaluations of those in immigration processes of asylum or in deportation removal proceedings. The ALAS mental health project provides a space to work regularly with clinical cases to develop culturally relevant practices of clinical and community support to heal trauma and honor each individual for their strengths.
The Cultural Arts as a Clinical Intervention to Address Trauma
The Institute's work is grounded in understanding the positive impact and healing that the cultural arts has as a direct mental health intervention. Exploring how art, drumming, music, folklore, testimonio, community wealth and leadership has on addressing the impact of trauma. Further the Institute is working to develop culturally relevant practices of mental health intervention that prepare the next generation of Clinicians that are part of working to address mental health from a social justice practice that uses culturally competency. We believe in advocacy. social justice, human rights and research that furthers relevant culturally competent practices of mental health that honors each individual's ability to heal from trauma through community and cultura.