Experts Bring Insight to University’s Mental Health Conference

One in four American adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and those from racial or ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to have access to mental health services and quality care.

To address these and other related issues, experts in the field will share some of their insights with an expected audience of more than 200 students, faculty, and guests during the Third Annual Latino Mental Health Conference at California State University, Dominguez Hills, on Friday, April 26, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in the Loker Student Union ballroom.

“I hope that this conference breaks down a number of barriers, including a lack of awareness of the free services that are available in the community, not just here on campus, and to get beyond the stigma of seeking help, not only for one’s self, but for those living with people with mental health issues,” said professor of modern languages Miguel Dominguez, who is coordinating the event.

Dominguez, who is presenting, “Don’t Shoot the Messenger: The Stress of Interpreting/Translating Among Young Latinos,” pointed out that many students aren’t aware that a portion of their student fees pay for mental as well as physical health care services available through the Student Health Center.

ConferenceAlong with Dominguez, other speakers and panelists from the university are licensed clinical psychologist Mónica Rosas-Baines and clinical psychologist Denna Sánchez, who will discuss the common myths about mental health and cultural stigma regarding therapy. Ivonne Heinze Balcazar, chair and professor of modern languages, with discuss the power of language on self-esteem and personal behavior.

Director of educational research and development for Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHALA) and alumnus Gustavo Loera (Class of ’95, B.A., psychology; ’98, M.A., clinical psychology), who is co-coordinating the conference with Dominguez, will present a discussion “Aligning Community-defined Solutions of Latino Communities with Barriers to Access and Treatment.”

Keynote speakers are Miguel Gallardo, associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and the past president of the California Psychological Association and the California Latino Psychological Association, and Ana Nogales, a Clinical Psychologist from Casa de la Familia.

The conference, “Achieving Mental Health Wellness by Building Capacity in Higher Education,” also features Rosina Ehrlich and Juanita Mendoza, NAMI Los Angeles; Maribel Romero, County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health; Adriana Carrillo, Department of Mental Health at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; Patricia Pasillas-Kim, County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health; and psychologist Cecilia Domínguez, AIDS Project Los Angeles.

The conference is free to attend, but seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Registration that included a box lunch has sold out. Those who pre-register now or do not register can visit nearby or on-campus dining options at their own expense.

The conference is presented by the Department of Modern Languages and MHALA, one of the county’s oldest nonprofit mental health organizations and an affiliate of the National Mental Health America. It is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities; Associated Students, Inc.; Toro Productions; and through a grant from the Instructionally Related Activities Fund.

For more information, contact Dominguez at (310) 243-3315 or

CSU Dominguez Hills offers free on-campus resources for students:

Associated Students, Incorporated
Loker Student Union, 231
(310) 243-3686

Career Center (Psychological Counseling)
Welch Hall, D-360
(310) 243-3625

Toro Learning Center (formerly CLASS)
North Wing Library, C-532
(310) 243-3827

Disabled Student Services
Welch Hall, D-180
(310) 243-3660

Financial Aid Office
Welch Hall, B-250
(310) 243-3691

Student Health and Psychological Services
Student Health Center, Student Health Services: (310) 243-3629
Psychological Services: (310) 243-3818

Speak Your Mind