Latino Initiatives-Iniciativas Latinas

The Development of a Latino Consumer/Provider Training Program

(October 2004 – September 2009)
Funded by NIDRR

This program intends to train Latino consumers, to function as peer providers and leaders in the mental health field in delivering recovery and recovery-oriented psychiatric rehabilitation.

Project Objectives

  • To develop a culturally competent recovery and rehabilitation training program for Latino consumer-providers
  • To evaluate the Latino Consumer-Provider Training Program
  • To disseminate the Latino Consumer-Provider Training Program

Project Description

This project has successfully completed two pilot classes in Alameda, CA. This project is adapting three existing training programs in order to create one integrated training program in Spanish relevant for Latino consumers who wish to become providers and/or leaders. The three curricula utilized are from: Spanish curriculum from the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University, BestNow a peer training program at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care System located in Alameda, CA and CONTAC Leadership Academy in West Virginia.


  • An increase in the knowledge and skills of consumers in delivering recovery and recovery-oriented psychiatric rehabilitation as well as consumer leadership
  • Trained Latino consumer providers
  • A training curriculum in Spanish

Project Background

  • Latinos, at 13.4% of the U.S. population, are now the nation’s largest minority (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). Unfortunately, the number of Latino professionals in the rehabilitation and mental health care workforce does not reflect their numbers in the general population.
  • Furthermore, the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2003) recommends including culturally and linguistically competent providers in the mental health workforce in order to promote a sense of renewed hope for recovery among minorities.
  • The addition of consumer providers to the mental health and psychiatric rehabilitation workforce has, over the past twenty years, become an important emerging trend (Mowbray, Moxley, Jaspar and Howell, 1997; Solomon & Draine, 2001).
  • Consumers are also better able to impact the planning and provision of mental health and support services at state and local levels if they are proficient in advocacy and leadership skills (Hess, Clapper, Hoekstra, Gibison, 2001). Therefore, the development of Latino consumer providers with leadership skills holds much promise in promoting opportunities for Latino consumers to take full advantage of recovery promoting services, such as psychiatric rehabilitation.

Project Staff

Maria E. Restrepo-Toro, MS, CPRP., see profile
Project Director
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University

Marianne Farkas, Sc.D.
Director of training
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University


Alameda County Behavioral Health Care System
Best Now Program
Katrina Killian
333 Hegenberger Rd. Suite 600
Oakland, CA 94621
Phone: (510) 383-1605
Fax: (510) 383-1616

Consumer Organization and Networking Technical Assistance Center (CONTAC), a division of West Virginia Mental Health Consumer Association
Kathy Muscari
910 Quarrier Street, Suite 414
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
Phone: 1-888-825-8324