As Latinx individuals we all know the all too familiar struggle- struggling to find therapists for our family members, ourselves, our community members that speak spanish and/or identify as latinx.
That is how our nonprofit was born. It was born out of a need, experiencing personal struggles and seeing the suffering and need in our communities, families and ourselves. Our story begins in 2019 when our founder, Bridget Sanchez, received a message from Behavioral Health Director, Dr. Francisco Limon, describing the 5 year search he had been on to hire a Spanish speaking Latinx therapist in the rural town in Snow Hill, NC. In Bridget's words: "I could not believe an organization could go 5 years w/out a spanish speaking therapist when over 95% of their organization's client base was latinx migrant and immigrants. I thought about my father, grandparents, great grandparents who were all farmworkers and delt with chronic mental health issues. I felt me coming down to rural south to provide behavioral health care was the universe bringing the circle of life into action. So I packed my things from my native home Chicago and moved to North Carolina.
I was one of 3 Spanish speaking therapists within 100 mile radius of our clinic and the only Spanish speaking therapist that provided sliding fee services within a 100 mile radius. I had an extensive caseload of patients seeing at times 35 clients a week due to the great demand for services, where standard practice of clients a week is 21-28 at most. I would say over 90% of these cases dealt with complex trauma and some of the worst trauma I've heard of including a mother who had witnessed her son being decapitated by the cartel, a man who had been kidnapped by the cartel for weeks, a woman who had been mutilated by her husband, and a women who had been forced to marry her rapist. I thought about the tragedy, the pain, the suffering these individuals went through having spent years w/out mental health care and living in isolated rural area while also being marginalized community members.
The most impactful story was working with an individual who had lived with PTSD for over 30 years. They were unable to leave their home, was having daily panic attacks, sleeping 4 hours or less a night, and on the brink of divorce from their spouse. After having worked together for brief time, this individual had symptoms resolution to all of their symptoms. They were no longer dx with PTSD, were able to leave their home, sleep, became leader in their community, and their marriage was strengthened more than ever. I was humbled and blown away how someone could go 30 years living with the devastating disease that PTSD is and how their life trajectory changed due to being provided with behavioral health care. Not only was this individual's life trajectory changed but their family and community benefitted from their recovery. I have no doubt if this individual would not have been provided this care their symptoms would have continued. But what about other patients like this? What about other rural communities that didn't have any spanish speaking therapists and continue not to do so? It was this patient's story that inspired Latinx Therapist Project's inception in 2021 and the intense desire to reach this marginalized community through workforce capacity building of Latinx therapist."
Our headquarters is now located in Denver, Colorado where our founder now resides and plan to continue doing the important work of increasing mental health care providers serving the Latinx Spanish community.