NNED Community of Practice Trainer: Gilberto Perez, Jr.

The Bienvenido curriculum is a strengths-based educational curriculum to enhance awareness of mental health, clarify a participant’s personal goals for an enhanced quality of life, and develop skills to reduce risk for emotional and behavioral risks associated with mental distress. The Bienvenido curriculum is appropriate for use in various community settings, including behavioral service settings, schools, and outpatient mental health centers. In particular, Bienvenido seeks to reduce reliance on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for individuals at risk for abuse and dependence due to stresses associated with immigrant traumas and ongoing marginalized community social status. Each module provides information about topics related to development and sustenance of mental health and enhanced quality of life. Modules are ordered to first introduce participants to potentially new knowledge about mental health, clarify their understanding of risk and protective factors associated with mental health and quality of life, and develop skills to enhance effective social functioning and community integration. Participants are encouraged to describe their immigration experience, and group discussion provides acknowledgement and support. Acculturative stresses and local values of cultural diversity are topics that provide examples of on-going risks for emotional distress, and potentially adverse behavioral consequences. Application to daily functioning is addressed by modules on anger management and effective communication. Clients are encouraged to seek mental health as a family goal.

  • Individuals participate in group for nine weeks.
  • Individuals develop peer support.
  • Individuals engage organizations for volunteer work.
  • Individuals strive to obtain positive mental health.

Bienvenido helps to reduce risk for emotional and behavioral risks associated with acculturative stress.

Bienvenido is all about:

  • Positive mental health through engagement
  • Cultivating relationships
  • Inspiring collaborative work
  • Creating a culturally responsive environment
  • Being relevant with adults and teenagers
  • Listening to stories
  • Strengths based work
  • Inspiring leaders to action
  • Serving in your community

Population of focus

Immigrants and refugees

Future directions

  • Further training of Mennonite Church USA leaders and other faith-based groups.
  • Further reach into diverse communities via virtual/online trainings.
  • Further expansion of Bienvenido with incarcerated youth.
  • Explore the creation of Bienvenido volunteer networks across the US.

To learn more about this innovation, contact:

Gilberto Perez, Jr, MSW, ACSW
Bienvenido Community Solutions, LLC
Phone: 574-333-9522