Awareness Raising at Maudsley Hospital
Mental health is becoming an increasingly important issue in the Latin American community but Latin Americans are sometimes reluctant to use mental health services even when treatment is needed. The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust provides free mental health services for the population of Southwark, Lewisham, Lambeth and Croydon but a common obstacle has been that mental health services are often not focused enough on the language and cultural needs of Latin Americans. This is beginning to change and to promote awareness of the Latin American community to the doctors, nurses, psychologists and other staff of the NHS Trust a Latin American Theme Day has been organised for Monday 27th July at the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell. The day will feature Latin American food and music, and will give an opportunity for employee from the NHS Trust to talk to community organisations working in Latin American mental health for advice and guidance, including El Teléfono de la Esperanza, the psychotherapy service of the The Latin American Women’s Rights Service and the Latin American Disabled People’s Project.
“The Latin American community are part of the fabric of South London” says Dr Vaughan Bell, a clinical psychologist with the NHS Trust, “and we hope that mental health services will be able to better serve this important part of the community”. “A surprising number of people still do not know that the services are entirely free and you can request translators in advance, and we hope our services will continue evolving to better serve this community”.