Centro Hispano de East Tennessee

Qué Emoción: Latino Youth Mental Health Project

Centro Hispano de East Tennessee is the only local non-profit dedicated to meeting the Latino immigrant community’s cultural, economic, and educational needs in Knox County and the surrounding region. The mental health of Latino adolescents, particularly in the middle school age group, is impacted by the effects of the global pandemic, the challenge of negotiating a bicultural identity and family structure, and external factors such as discrimination and violence. There is a shortage of local bilingual and bicultural resources or professional mental health providers. However, Centro Hispano is well-positioned to reach this population through deep ties to the local Latino community and strong partnerships with Knox County Schools and mental health-focused organizations such as Harmony Family Center, Helen Ross McNabb, and individual immigrant mental health professionals. The ultimate outcome is improved mental health support for Latino adolescents in Knox County middle schools through psychoeducational support groups and identity exploration through art, developing a robust referral system with local providers and agencies, and improved family relational health through parent education workshops.