Community Liberation

At Raíces de Bienestar, we believe community and culture are the cornerstones to mental health and wellness. We believe the natural wisdom of the community can heal individuals, groups and families. It is our honor to work from a clinical, community, and public health perspective that is rooted in Latinx culture and celebration of strengths. We aim to elevate and integrate the collective voices of the community and to uncover, discuss, and heal from generational, intergenerational, historical, and cultural traumas. In collaboration, we hope to dismantle the impact of policies and systems of oppression and adverse personal experiences so many have endured. We can reclaim our emotional and mental wellbeing by honoring each other and our unique cultural gifts. 

This signature curriculum is entirely designed by the Latinx community for the Latinx community and developed in 2018 by our co-founder Dra Ruth Zuniga, in collaboration with a  Promotores de Salud Advisory Committee and with the support of bi-lingual, bi-cultural graduate psychology  students. This evidenced-based and community-focused curriculum is delivered in Spanish, uses popular education practices and is taught through 6 modules informed by Latinx sociocultural factors and current scientific research. The training focuses on addressing mental health stigma, , teaching self-care, self-regulation and co-regulation techniques, improving help-seeking behaviors, and addressing how to support the community regarding emotional health and wellness. The main goals of this training are to not only  provide  competencies in addressing these issues in the community, but also, to  identify these concerns in self,  family  and others. Additionally, the training providers tools on how to support the community on accessing culturally responsive resources.    The training is not only focused on the community by empowering and increasing the skills of community health workers (CHWs) to address mental health, but they are also meant to provide spaces for CHWs to focus on their own emotional health and healing. 

The 6 modules are accredited for Continued Education Units through the Traditional Health Workers (THW) Commission in Oregon and provided in Spanish. The modules include stress management, depression, substance use disorders, healthy relationships/intimate partner violence,  suicide  and crisis intervention prevention, and how to speak with and support the community about emotional health and mental health.   The training can be delivered in person or online.  CHWs participants said they have built confidence and skills in addressing emotional health with community members, their families, and even themselves and reported improvements in their own emotional health. 


Emotional Health Community Health Workers/Community Leader Trainings: 

Signature Mental Health Curriculum:

This interactive Spanish training engages traditional health workers and Latinx community leaders in the topics of health and emotional well-being and community resilience in times of disaster and forest fires. Through three modules, participants learn concepts, skills, and tools to support and enhance the strength of their communities before, during, and after disasters, and most importantly, learn how to strengthen their own emotional health while preventing or coping with vicarious trauma , responding to trauma, and compassion fatigue that can come with serving the community. In addition, the training includes components of Liberation pedagogy, collective healing and trauma-informed care.
The content and format of this training has been guided by a community advisory board made up of Latinx leaders and health promoters working in areas affected by the wildfires. The training includes the didactics about trauma, toxic stress and adversities associated with climate change and wildfires, the development of culturally adapted mindfulness and resilience skills, tools and techniques that participants are be able to apply to promote resilience and well-being of their communities, coping mechanisms to better deal with the challenges of natural disaster, advocacy and tools to efficiently support their community. This training has been accredited for Continued Education Units through the Traditional Health Workers (THW) Commission in Oregon and provided in Spanish.



Más Fuerte que la Adversidad (Stronger than Adversity) Curriculum

Las Charlas are community conversations on emotional health topics that are broadly accessible to the Latinx community. We pair a trained Promotor de Salud/CHW or Community Leader with an advanced mental health student trainee, or established clinician, to facilitate an interactive, informative, and culturally specific conversation on a series of mental health topics. These activities can be held in person when safe to do so or virtually. The charlas are typically 1 - 2 hours long and include sharing of information and psychoeducation. We adapt the charlas based on the needs of the community and per our partners requests. Time is left for the community to ask questions related to the topic and sessions are always taught in popular education format and include learning coping skills and other mental health tools. In 2020, we reached over 15,000 individuals across numerous different countries on Facebook Live. You can watch more about the charlas on a live-aired television segment here: 

Charlas de Bienestar y Salud Emocional: 

https://katu.com/amnw/am-northwest-lifestyle-health/providence-pacific-university-team-up-on-charlas-de-bienestar-salud-emocional

We partner with community-based organizations and public sectors to offer a series of trainings and/or group sessions focused on enhancing individual and collective resilience and self-care. Our curriculum is offered in English or Spanish and is highly adaptable to meet the needs of the participants. The trainings are focused on addressing the influence of current issues (e.g. impact of wildfires on Latinx communities, impact of COVID-19 on mental and emotional health) and on the emotional and mental health of community leaders and community helpers. Behavioral health competencies and skills are taught to enhance the connection between community leaders and those they serve, apply learned skills to support their own emotional wellness, and prevent secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burn out.


Resilience, Self-Care, and Trauma/Healing Informed Trainings:

We travel to the community (e.g. migrant camps, health fairs, community events) to offer psychoeducation regarding different mental health topics. We provide culturally-grounded brief behavioral health interventions to individuas who may not have access to mental health resources. Through culturally adapted approaches, we support individuals’ motivation to seek mental health treatment. We also work to remove barriers that negatively influence their treatment access and utilization.

Outreach, Psychoeducation, and Service Learning:

This project provides monthly free group sessions focused on resiliency building and self-care of community leaders and traditional healthcare workers (THWs) who have completed our mental health training. These sessions offer a sacred and healing space to honor lived experiences, process challenging emotions, learn resiliency and self-soothing techniques, and problem-solve challenging client cases encountered. Each Fortalezas session has a wellness theme informed by mindfulness-based interventions. Past themes have included: Introduction to Mindfulness, Using 5 Senses to Connect to the Moment; Recognizing Body Sensations and; Introduce Concept of Aversion, and Mindful Gratitude. 



Fomentando Fortalezas: 

The pláticas are community spaces for Latino individuals and families focused on promoting learning, interpersonal connection, emotional healing and collaboration. Through counseling and group therapy techniques, the facilitator will help create a space where participants feel safe to discuss and share life experiences while learning from others how to deal with and address mental health issues that can lead to violence. During these pláticas, community members will receive mutual support and support from a team of mental health clinicians. 

The emotional health pláticas is a new  Raíces de Bienestar program sponsored by Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) and Rosemary Anderson High School (RAHS) with the goal of raising awareness about how mental health and emotional well-being are related to violence and how through focusing on our emotional health we can reduce violence in families and communities.  They will be in Spanish via Zoom or in person, once a month, and will last from 90-120 minutes. 

Unlike the charlas, the pláticas will be guided by a mental health provider who will provide a very small presentation on the topic of the day (a presentation of about 20 minutes). and from there it will focus on encouraging discussion with participants about the day’s theme and other relevant issues that are affecting the mental health of the community.

The topics include:
  1. Relaciones Saludables en la Familia (02/09/23)
  2. Criando nuestros hijos con amor: Cambiando patrones (03/09/23)
  3. Enfrentando el Acoso (Bullying) entre los niños (04/13/23)
  4. Criando Nuestros Hijos con Amor: Disminuyendo la influencia de las pandillas (05/11/23)
  5. Estrategias y Herramientas para fomentar confianza en el Entorno Escolar (06/8/23)
  6. Criando nuestros hijos con amor: Fomentado hogares seguros para nuestros hijos (06/29/23)

  • Virtual via Zoom
  • Limit of 25 persons: The registration for each topic will begin on the 3rd Thursday of the month prior until the Monday before the plática.  
  • Duration: 6:00pm-8:00pm

To register: Call or send a text to 971-417-6054 or send an email to  fabiola@raicesdebienestar.org 



Corazón y Confianza: Pláticas de Salud Emocional 

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