Clínica Tepati, in Sacramento, was founded in 1974 to provide basic health care to Xicanx and Latinx without health insurance. Completely run by undergraduate students of UC Davis, Tepati has now expanded to provide legal services, advocacy, and community resources. Its medical services now include pharmaceutical and mental health services.
Christine Hu and Pablo Badra co-head the mental health committee. These undergraduate students are working on implementing a plan of expansion and create a mental health clinic within Tepati.
The scope of the plan is to provide appointments with a mental health professional to as many patients as possible.
For that purpose, their plan has been broken down in three major areas:
- Recruitment of mental health professionals, or student trainees
- Outreach to educate the Latino community about mental health.
- Volunteer training for early assessment of mental health needs.
Although in its initial phase, the plan includes agreements with advocacy organizations and faculty to contribute with the educational efforts. For that purpose, Monica Torero Casal, a professor of Psychology and Xicana studies at UC Davis, has offered to consult with the mental health committee on how to start the mental health clinic.
The recruitment of mental health professionals remains the greatest challenge at this stage of the plan. A university has contacted Hu and Badra to discuss practicum opportunities for their counselors in training. For that to happen, the clinic and the university will have to align views, and the potential volunteers will need to speak Spanish, and be willing to work with disadvantaged communities.
In the meantime, Tepati does its best at providing mental health services. Aury Gutierrez, a bilingual professional specializing in Marriage, Family, and Child counseling, makes 3 to 4 appointments every two weeks.
The Clinica Tepati would benefit from young mental health professionals in training needing practicum hours to complete graduation requirements. It would also benefit from collaboration with mental health advocacy groups to help fight the stigma against the mental ill within the Latinx/Xicanx community in Sacramento.