Addressing Mental Health Challenges through Community Engagement. Latino Immigrants – Centro SOL

Addressing Mental Health Challenges through Community Engagement: A Multi-level Approach to Depression among Latino Immigrants in Baltimore

Project Summary

This project seeks to increase access to care for the prevention and treatment of depression for Latino immigrants living in Baltimore City. Depression is ubiquitous in the United States and many face barriers to accessing mental health care including provider shortages, time constraints, insurance and stigma related to mental health issues. Immigrants face additional challenges to accessing care as a result of ineligibility for insurance and the dearth of linguistically and culturally concordant healthcare services.

A coordinated effort on the part of healthcare providers and community members is critical in order to increase and enhance depression care for Baltimore’s immigrant Latino community, a vital and rapidly growing population. Since 2013, Johns Hopkins Centro SOL has been at the forefront of providing and expanding access to equitable care and health services for limited English Proficiency (LEP) Latino immigrants in Baltimore.

In this project Johns Hopkins Centro SOL intends to convene a network of stakeholders throughout Baltimore to accomplish three specific aims:

1) To reduce stigma and increase mental health literacy

2) To pilot and evaluate evidence-based, feasible and sustainable mental health services for depression; and

3) To develop and disseminate the Latino Mental Health Equity Strategy: Opportunities for Lay-Led Interventions for Depression.

Project Details

Principal Investigator Funder
Polk, Sarah – MD, MSH The Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation
Department Project Start Date
Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 01/01/2019
Co – Investigator Project End Date
Platt, Rheanna – MD, MPH 12/31/2023
Other Co – Investigators Team Members
Joo, Jin Hui, MD, MA, Page, Kathleen – MD, Grieb, Suzanne – PhD Sanchez Gonzalez, Mayra – Clinical Supervisor, Guerrero Vazquez, Monica MPH, MS -Executive Manager Maksym, Marzena, MA – Senior Research Program Coordinator, Torres, Veronica – Community Outreach Specialist
Contact Information
Email:, Calls: 410-550-4115, Text Messages: (443) 406-6648

Project Progress

Video was launched during the conference on May 19, 2022.
Events centro SOL

Building a Mental Health Network of Support, Healing City Baltimore Summit 2023

Building a Mental Health Network of Support: Informed Services for Uninsured Latinos, 40th NAMI Maryland Annual Conference

What is depression? A photo expo Monday October 3, 12pm (in person).


Dissemination Centro SOL

March 2023

October 2022

Conference NAMI

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

  • September 2021 – Steering Committee meeting, strategic meeting with Latino Mental Health Network subcommittee members

May 2021

  • May 2021 – Stigma Campaign Fortalece tu Bienestar launch events

  • May 2021 – Radiante & mindfulness program to create awareness about mental health

  • May 2021 – Stigma Campaign Fortalece tu Bienestar, to end the stigma around depression

April 2021


  • November 2019 – Mothers and Babies Course – Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders delivered on November 1, 2019 (restricted access). To request access please contact project information.

More information about this project dissemination:

If your organization or community is interested in hosting an expo about mental health similar to the ones we organized, please reach out to

Publications - Centro SOL


Action Plan “Community-centered Mental Health innovations for Latinos“ to expand depression prevention and treatment for Baltimore’s Latinos. This Action Plan reflects the voices of many diverse stakeholders. It provides an actionable framework for local health systems, community organizations, and regional policymakers to address depression among local Latinos. We offer this Action Plan as a guide to other cities with emerging Latino immigrant communities. We are confident you will see the value of this effort and support its sustainability.

Download the Action Plan

Citation (AMA 10th) Guerrero Vazquez M, Maksym M, Grieb SM, Joo JH, Platt ER, Polk S. Community-centered Mental health innovations for Latinos. Centro SOL, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 2022.


Community-Centered Mental Health Innovations for Latinos

During the Latino Health Conference on May 19th 2022, Centro SOL launched the Action Plan with innovative approaches to address the mental health care needs of Latinos. This Action Plan is a framework that can be replicated in geographic areas with emerging Latino Immigrant communities. For inquiries please contact


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