July 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

In 2002–03, the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, New York, provided and trained other community groups to provide, group mental health sessions to Latinos affected by the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

Key Results

  • The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families created the "Circulos en Apoyo" (Circles of Support) groups for Latin American immigrants who were directly affected by the September 11th attacks, including families of the deceased, displaced workers, clean-up and recovery workers and evacuees.

    "Circulos en Apoyo" were 12-week group sessions facilitated by peer educators and staff from community-based organizations.
  • The Committee for Hispanic Children conducted two seven-day trainings for 40 people: 19 peer educators, who were Latin American immigrants; 10 committee staff members, and 11 staff members from five community agencies.
  • Over the course of the grant period, the Committee for Hispanic Children and the community agencies established 19 groups serving 506 people. Group meetings took place at sites within New York City, including churches, schools, workers organizations and a Head Start program.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $150,000 to support development and delivery of the group sessions between February 2002 and July 2003.

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THE PROBLEM

The Latino immigrant community was hard hit by the events of September 11th, having to cope with a traumatic experience in a new country with an unfamiliar language and culture. According to the project director, many Latino immigrants do not trust traditional mental health services offered in the United States and were not using mental health services following September 11th.

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THE PROJECT

The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families created the "Circulos en Apoyo" (Circles of Support) groups for Latin American immigrants who were directly affected by the September 11th attacks, including families of the deceased, displaced workers, clean-up and recovery workers and evacuees. "Circulos en Apoyo" were 12-week group sessions facilitated by peer educators and staff from community-based organizations. The groups' goals were to:

  • Create a secure and confidential space for Latinos to talk about the impact of the World Trade Center tragedy on their lives.
  • Share coping strategies.
  • Learn techniques for stress management.
  • Bring support to immigrants and create a sense of community.

The Committee for Hispanic Children conducted two seven-day trainings for 40 people: 19 peer educators, who were Latin American immigrants; 10 committee staff members, and 11 staff members from five community agencies (Centro de Desarrollo de la Mujer Dominicana, MidBronx Senior Citizens Council, Latin American Integration Center, Northern Manhattan Empowerment Coalition and Hudson River Health Care). Mental health specialists in group management provided the training.

Over the course of the grant period, the Committee for Hispanic Children and the community agencies established 19 groups serving 506 people. Group meetings took place at sites within New York City, including churches, schools, workers organizations and a Head Start program. The committee produced brochures and flyers publicizing the Circulos en Apoyo, as well as materials for use during the sessions. Most materials were in Spanish.

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AFTER THE GRANT

The Committee for Hispanic Children has funding from the September 11th Fund through 2004 to conduct three "Circulos en Apoyo" groups for relatives of victims, displaced workers and the Latin American community in the Bronx.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Providing Mental Health Support for the September 11 Attacks

Grantee

Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (New York,  NY)

  • Amount: $ 150,000
    Dates: February 2002 to July 2003
    ID#:  044116

Contact

Joe Semidei
(212) 206-1090
jsemidei@chcfinc.org

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Report prepared by: Barbara Matacera Barr
Reviewed by: Robert Narus
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Jane Isaacs Lowe

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