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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, July 16, 2007

Mental illness group starts affiliate for Latinos

By Carey Goldberg, Globe Staff

NAMI-MA, the Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, is opening its first affiliate aimed specifically at Latino families, it announced today.

Like other NAMI groups, NAMI-LATINO will help family members cope with the mental illness of their loved ones. But it will have a specifically Latino orientation, organizers say, trying to provide more support for Spanish-speaking families that might otherwise tend not to avail themselves of it.

The group will focus on such issues as the family’s role in a member’s recovery and the ongoing stigma surrounding mental illness in Spanish-speaking communities, said Carmen Rivera, the new affiliate’s president, in a statement.

The group meets at the South End Community Health Center at 1601 Washington St. in Boston. It is currently seeking more participants for its sessions, which are conducted in Spanish. More info: 617-421-0056.

NAMI-MA hopes to open other Latino-oriented branches where needed around the state.

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