We are excited to release our first virtual episode, recorded in the spring of 2021. For this episode we talked with Krysta Gonzalez, actor, playwright, and voice-over artist, about the complexity of AfroLatinx identities, processing trauma though writing, and the interconnection of healing and creativity.
We're back! Ale and Ana return for Season 4 - we've been through a lot this past year but we're still standing. In this season opener we share some life updates, as well as upcoming episodes this season focusing on Afro-Latinx voices. Join us as we continue our conversations on the importance of Latinx mental health, representation, and holding compassion for all of us who have been through hell and back this past year.
In this episode Ana interviewed fellow co-host Alejandra Spector, community social worker and social justice advocate. We talked about her experience working with asylum seekers at the border, the importance of centering mental health, the vital role that people with disabilities play in social justice spaces, her current work in anti-oppressive teaching, and the importance of creativity and connection as self-care. We drank iced tea with lemon and learned a lot recording our first episode using Zoom.
For this episode we spoke to Adrian Villegas, director of the Latino Comedy Project. We drank chamomile tea with elderflower cordial and talked about the importance of representation for people of color in the Austin theater scene, the role of comedy in mental health, and the upcoming production of Estar Guars.
For this episode we spoke with Dr. Laurie Cook Heffron, a social work professor at St. Edward's University. We drank Revitalise tea (a blend of rosehip, hibiscus, and cherry) and talked about social work research, making space for all voices in teaching and organizing, and social workers' roles in writing letters for immigration cases.
For this episode Alejandra interviewed fellow co-host Ana Vidina Hernández, program coordinator of Girasol and a lead therapist at the YWCA Greater Austin. The episode discusses her career trajectory as a social worker focusing on immigration, the importance of considering history in social justice work, and finding creative ways to create initiatives that matter to you.
For this episode we spoke to Vanessa Flores, a licensed clinical social worker and founder of the Colors of Austin Counseling group practice. We drank chocolate con canela and talked about her experience of starting a business, balancing financial needs with values, increasing access to therapy for people of color, and how we can avoid a scarcity mindset as women of color.
For this episode we spoke to Gabriela Polit Dueñas, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin whose new book "Unwanted Witnesses. Journalists and Conflict in Contemporary Latin America" is now available. We drank jasmine green tea and talked about journalists' experiences in Latin America and the representation of violence in contexts of armed conflict.
We have recorded a version of the 5-minute Self-Compassion Break in Spanish. This meditation is available for you to use for yourself or in sessions if you work with clients. Enjoy!
For this episode we discussed the importance of rest and taking breaks, our life updates, and how we approach our work with the podcast with self-compassion. The end of the episode features a version of the 5-minute Self-Compassion Break in Spanish. The break is also uploaded as a separate audio file for you to use for yourself or with clients!
For this episode we spoke to Lynn Panepinto, a licensed social worker in Austin, Texas. We drank iced lemon balm tea with pineapple and passion fruit, and talked about the nuances of Latinx identity, the concept of cultural distance, and her research entitled "Mapping the Landscape: Intervention Services for Child Sexual Abuse in Lima, Peru."
For this episode we spoke with Rocio Villalobos, a community advocate currently working with young people, leadership, and access to nature. We drank Quit Yer Belly Achin' tea, a blend of marshmallow root, cinnamon, chamomile flowers, scullcap, slippery elm root, and ginger, and talked about sustainable activism, mental health and the outdoors, and the importance of engaging youth.
For this episode we spoke to Laura Gomez-Horton, a social worker with over 20 years of clinical and administrative experience across the non-profit, academic, and public sectors. She has been a voice for social justice issues through organizing and advocacy, as well as facilitating dialogues and workshops on the issues of racism and discrimination. We drank Be Here Now Tea, (an iced tea of oatstraw and lemonbalm, infused with raspberries and blueberries) and talked about implicit bias, racism, the importance of self-awareness as therapists, and her training entitled "Oppression in the Session."
Welcome to this special edition of the Latinx Mental Health Podcast! We have decided to come out of our summer break in light of the recent reaction to the border crisis. We felt it was necessary to make this episode because we’ve both been watching this crisis unfold for years and feel we can offer an important perspective and tangible tools and ideas for getting involved. In this episode we discuss our own emotional responses to the crisis and the importance of allowing ourselves to process emotions, clear up common misconceptions about the legal system and issues pertaining to immigrant detention, and finally, we offer tangible tools and steps you can take to get involved and join the fight for justice. We do not own the rights to any music in this episode. Song attribution: Pastures of Plenty, Woody Guthrie; Pastures of Plenty, Lila Downs; Pastures of Plenty, Odetta.
For this episode we spoke to Neathery Thurmond who is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Austin, Texas. She specializes in eating disorders, body image, LGBTQ+, trauma, substance use, and works with teens, families, and adults. We drank Bee Happy Tea (a blend of hibiscus, lemonbalm, oatstraw, and hawthorn berry) and talked about health at every size, eating disorder treatment with marginalized communities, and increasing access to training and treatment spaces.
For this episode we spoke to Anayeli Marcos who is a Master's student in Social Work and Latin American studies and an organizer with the University Leadership Initiative. As a DACA recipient and activist, her research interests are focused on the immigrant community around topics of trauma and migration, social movements, gender-based violence, detention, forced migration, and parenting. We drank cardimum tea and talked about DACA and student activism.
For this episode we spoke to Carlos Spector who is an immigration attorney in El Paso, Texas, and Alejandra's dad! Carlos Spector has a long history of representing Mexican political asylum cases and won the first Mexican political asylum case in the country. He also helped create the nonprofit organization, Mexicanos en Exilio, Mexicans in Exile. We drank buckwheat tea and talked about the political asylum process and the importance of mental health professionals in immigration law.
For this episode we spoke to Dr. Lauren Gulbas, a cultural and medical anthropologist at the UT Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Lauren Gulbas has a long-standing interest in understanding how social change in local contexts shapes cultural meanings and experiences of distress across individual, cultural, and institutional levels. We drank Heartea (a blend of rose hips, rose petals, cinnamon, tulsi, and skullcap) and talked about her research on the topic of attempted suicide among Latina teens.
The Grief and Trauma of Migration and Healing Trauma through Centering Human Connection with Eva Escobedo
For this episode we spoke to Eva Escobedo, a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice and as a supervisor at the YWCA Greater Austin. We drank fall fancy tea (assam tea with a touch of orange peel and cinnamon and served with milk) and talked about the trauma of migration and how therapists can help people heal.
This is the Latinx Mental Health Podcast where we talk to therapists, researchers, artists, activists, and students about their experiences in the intersections of mental health and Latinx identity. In each interview we aim to connect through our voices, our struggles, and our triumphs as we sample a different herbal tea just like abuela used to make.