Progreso Latino Fund

Cultural Mental Health Services Through the Lifespan: Older Adults (RECORDED)


Sep 28, 2023


12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.




Panelists: Francisco Lopez, Ph.D, Psychologist; Leonora C. Rodriguez, Executive Director, Milford Senior Center; Moderator: Frances Padilla, Former President, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut

(L-R) Panelists Francisco Lopez and Leonora C. Rodriguez; Moderator Frances Padilla.

Cultural stigmas and social taboos make mental health a difficult topic, creating barriers to seeking treatment and leaving communities vulnerable to suffering from mental health issues. Our Latine community is far more likely to face these barriers as well as inadequate access to treatment services.

In the third webinar of our series, mental health experts from our community discussed mental health care for older adults and the supports needed for healthy aging.

We invite you to watch the discussion below if you were unable to attend the live event

Francisco Lopez, Ph.D., Psychologist
Leonora C. Rodriguez, Executive Director, Milford Senior Center

Frances Padilla, Former President, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut


  • Social connections are critical to maintaining mental health as we age.
  • Feeling devalued is a common source of depression among older adults who no longer have the same family or professional roles they once did.
  • Older adults who come from other countries are at risk of lacking connections and feeling isolated.
  • Senior centers play an important role in bringing people together.
  • Staying active mentally, learning new things, exercising and positive attitudes contribute to healthy aging.
  • Questions around intimacy and how to remain sexually active are common.
  • Mental health therapy requires cultural competency and cultural humility on the part of practitioners.
  • More bilingual and culturally competent mental health providers are needed.
  • Finding new activities and roles in the community that make one feel valued is important.


Resources and Social Centers for Latine Older Adults

Questions? Please contact Carmen Burgos.

About the Panelists

Francisco A. Lopez, Ph.D., is a clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice. Dr. Lopez specializes in psychological assessment and treatment, as well as conducting and forensic evaluations. He holds a part-time faculty appointment of Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine where he supervises interns within the Hispanic Clinic, CMHC Inpatient unit and Behavioral Medicine Assessment Clinic. He also serves on the board of the Spanish Community of Wallingford (SCOW) a community-based organization serving the Wallingford and Meriden area.

Leonora C. Rodriguez is the Executive Director of the Milford Senior Center. Her work focuses on the social aspects of community-based aging, creativity as a coping tool for older adults, healthy aging and conscientious living, and her Master’s Thesis examined the self-reported factors influencing COVID-19 vaccination in CT community-dwelling, older adults. Among her professional highlights, Rodriguez was appointed by Gov. Lamont to the CT Senior Center Workgroup in 2022. She also serves as a board member for the Connecticut Association of Senior Center Personnel and for the Sigma Phi Omega National Academic Honor and Professional Society in Gerontology.

Sessions in this webinar series include:

  • March 30, 2023 - Cultural Mental Health Services Through the Lifespan: Adult (WATCH RECORDING)
  • June 29, 2023 – Cultural Mental Health Services Through the Lifespan: Children/Youth (WATCH RECORDING)

Learn More About the Progreso Latino Fund

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