SPRINGFIELD – The Latino Economic Development Corporation has partnered with the Gándara Center to provide expanded behavioral health urgent care services to meet the needs of Latino small business owners seeking work-life balance.
Gándara CEO Lois Nesci said: “We hope that by providing these services we will help those dealing with urgent mental health issues in crisis situations.”
The Built Together program provides bilingual and culturally proficient mental health services at one of two Gándara Center clinics at 2155 Main Street and 85 St., offering urgent care services to business owners and their families. George Road, extended hours on evenings and weekends.
Number of people at the center has increased since the pandemic began Jade Rivera-McFarlin, vice president of fund development and community relations at the Gándara Center, said its services were needed.
Center officials cited a 2020 report on Latino entrepreneurship that said business owners working long hours can lead to burnout, negative health effects, chronic stress, and health problems related to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. mental health problems.
“The pandemic has everyone dealing with their own mental health issues. Needs are up, and culture has played a huge role in whether or not we’re getting the help we need,” Rivera-McFarlin said. “The needle moved a little bit to let us know there was something that needed help, but the stigma remained.”
The Gándara Center advocates and provides Providing culturally sensitive services to Springfield’s Hispanic community since 1977. The Gándara Center serves Diverse, multicultural clientele at more than 100 locations across the state, reaching more than 15,000 children, families and adults annually.
Latino Economic Development Corporation participants have access to resources including a food pantry, family support, adult and youth behavioral health, family therapy, career search, housing, substance abuse services and more.
Andrew Melendez, director of operations for the Latino Economic Development Corporation, said treatment should not be for things that are bad, but for things that are going well.
“I hear from business owners in tough times, even in very successful times. Working 70-hour weeks, the weight on their shoulders can be difficult for them and their families,” Melendez said. “Having a place to call and get extra support is critical to their business success.”
The Built Together program is designed to create and maintain a better work-life balance for Latinx and other culturally diverse small business owners in the region.
“Times can be tough. It’s hard to understand society, and sometimes you just need a third party in an unbiased, clinical social setting to help resolve any situation before a crisis occurs,” Melendez said.
In the Hispanic community, where starting a business, raising money, finding public support and keeping doors open can be difficult, Melendez said well-being should be a regular part of the business ecosystem.
“What’s unique is all the entry points for services and resources,” Melendez said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be in business or you’ve been in business for 17 years. It’s not causation, you can sign up just to stay focused.”
According to Melendez, there will also be one-on-one support for business owners.One of 28 wealth-building coaches at the Latin American Economic Development Council will provide grants of up to $25,000 for business services in accounting, marketing, budgeting and expansion to support healthy An ecosystem of local businesses.
“With support grants, business owners can have a different skill set in their toolbox,” Melendez said.