CHICAGO (WLS) -- Even though the Erikson Institute's Center for Children and Families celebrated its grand opening in 2019, the clinic remained closed to the public due to the pandemic. Now it's finally open for in-person services.
The center hopes to change the stigma around mental health in the Latino community.
"I know as a Latina, immigrant as a mother there is great stigma related to mental health in the Latino community," said Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning, president of the Erikson Institute. "We need to get beyond that."
According to the CDC, mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders begin in early childhood. And the American Psychological Association found many children experience poor mental health outcomes based on their socioeconomic disadvantage, ethnic or racial minority status or immigration status.
"Our children need to get early intervention services. They need to get diagnosed early," Souto-Manning said.
Alderman Michael Rodriguez said the pandemic has had a major impact on the mental health of children and families in his ward.
"We have had a significant loss of income, jobs and of lives and to have this type of resource here for the residence of our community it is so invaluable," he said.
Their services include crisis intervention, parent and child therapy and clinical assessments.
Many Little Village community groups said they are looking forward to partnering with this mental health center.
"We are very proud to be able to refer patients to tell people about the presence of the Erikson Institute here in Little Village," said Katya Nuques, the executive director of Enlace Chicago.
The center accepts most major insurance carriers and Medicaid. They do have options available for people without insurance.