UTEP Professor Receives Research Grant to Identify Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Hispanics on Probation
May 24, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas – Dr. Jennifer Eno Louden, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso, has received a grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to identify why some Hispanics on probation don’t seek required mental health treatment.
Her proposal was selected from a pool of 47 applicants from 19 universities across Texas. The foundation awarded 10 grants totaling nearly $150,000. The one-year grants are capped at $15,000 each.
Louden will examine the influences of family, friends and community on the willingness of Hispanics on probation to seek mental health treatment required as a condition of their release. Failure to seek treatment is a probation violation that can result in their being returned to jail.
“Research tells us that Hispanics are less likely than other ethnicities to seek mental health treatment for a variety of reasons, including perceived stigmatization and the ways that mental illness is conceptualized in Hispanic cultures,” Louden said. “This research will examine the factors that promote and hinder treatment attendance in this group.”
The study will be conducted in English and Spanish and will include in-depth interviews with 90 adults under community supervision at a local probation agency.
“This study could be an important first step in helping people with mental health conditions stay outside the state’s already overburdened criminal justice system,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the foundation.
The Hogg Foundation was founded in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James Hogg to promote improved mental health for the people of Texas. The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health consumer services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. The foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.