Proyecto Nueva Vida works to reduce barriers to behavioral healthcare among Latinos in Bridgeport and surrounding communities. Proyecto Nueva Vida is the result of a coalition between three agencies: CASA, Optimum (formerly Bridgeport Mental Health Center), and the CO-OP Center.
Proyecto Nueva Vida takes “a holistic approach” to serving the population. They have made changes to their assessment protocol to identify issues and have developed additional programs to address emerging needs and problems. The incorporation of cultural traditions in healing and recovery is especially important. Ceremonies often include families; they seek participation from the whole community and cultural leaders (caciques); and they incorporate practices such as smudging and storytelling with their service users.
The key areas addressed are:
- Provision of bilingual and bicultural services to the community;
- Creating an atmosphere of personalismo to build confianza with Latinos receiving services;
- Increasing accessibility of Latino-focused neighborhood based substance use treatment and programs;
- Development of a service system that incorporates cultural resources, including indigenous healers and treatments, the importance of family/friends/community, and addresses stigma; and
- Development of a coordinated system of care.
Chemical Abuse Services Agency, Inc. (CASA)
690 Arctic Street
Bridgeport, CT 06608
Phone: (203) 339-4112
Fax: (203) 339-4115
Program Director: José Torres