La Cocina: Seeking Equity in Mental Health Services

La Cocina is a nonprofit organization that provides mental health and health equity services for the Latinx Spanish-speaking population of Northern Colorado.

It was founded three years ago at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The idea for this service was created by Chief Executive & Founder, Dr. Janina Fariñas along with the help of three passionate and caring Spanish-students that turned this vision into a real life mission.

Listen to the story below:

Dr. Farinas, a professor, who has specialized in clinical child psychology and neuropsychology saw the dire need for mental health services for the Latinx Spanish-speaking population and dedicated herself to make this happen.

So, from the early days in Dr. Farina’s basement grew an organization that is now an independent nonprofit, one of only a handful of Latinx-founded, Latinx-led, and Latinx-serving non-profits in Colorado focusing specifically on mental health assessments for asylum seekers.

Our studio guest from La Cocina, is Melita Quance, who has been with Mind Over Border since January 2019 where she’s successfully completed her clinical internship and is now serving as the Program Manager for the organization.

She’s earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish from Earlham College and a Master’s of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Regis University and has been fluent in Spanish for 25 years. She has lived abroad in Bolivia and the US/Mexico Border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

She talks today with Tish Beauford about the organization’s successes, accomplishments and goals for the future and how the community can help so they can continue providing this critical service to our Latinx immigrate brothers and sisters.

Unique to La Cocina, our Mind Over Border or MOB program has grown to be a critical resource for the Fort Collins community, and they have big goals and dreams for the future hoping that they will be able to expand their services to new satellite locations to the Denver Metro area.

La Cocina provides additional services which include: peer mentor training groups, parenting groups that focus on mindfulness and attachment, groups for adolescents navigating two cultures, social media support groups on their Facebook page and individual, couple and family therapy.

All of their services are free of charge and available only in Spanish.

www.lacocinahome.org