Latinx Families Navigate Mental Well-Being during a Pandemic

October 2, 2020 | Webinar

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, this session will focus on addressing mental health in Latinx families. COVID-19 has compounded mental health issues for families experiencing job loss, unemployment, childcare challenges, online schooling, food disparity and has exacerbated the difficulties experienced by those who are undocumented. In many Latinx families, there is a stigma around seeking help for mental health. Mayra E. Alvarez is President of The Children’s Partnership, a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization committed to giving every child, no matter their background, the resources and opportunities they need for a bright future.

Last year, The Children’s Partnership and the California Immigrant Policy Center joined efforts to launch Healthy Mind, Healthy Future, a research and policy project that aims to better understand the impact of heightened immigration enforcement activities and anti-immigrant rhetoric on the mental health and wellbeing of children in immigrant families in California, and identify what more California can do to support children in immigrant families. Ariel McNichol is the co-founder and CEO of MotiSpark, a personalized video platform that is transforming outpatient behavioral health and engagement. MotiSpark’s Latinx Young Adult Mental Health series leverages the fun of personalized video to deliver a variety of evidenced-based interventions such as Motivational Interviewing, Compassion Focused Therapy, CBT, Implicit Priming and more. The program was developed from winning The Grand Prize in the HIMSS, CHLA Innovation Studio Developer’s Challenge to help improve health equality for Latinx youth.

Join Mayra Alvarez and Ariel McNichol as they discuss pandemic-heightened issues regarding access to healthcare, insurance challenges, the undocumented experience and more.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify pandemic-heightened issues surrounding Latinx families regarding mental wellbeing
  • Describe the technological barriers many Latinx families and communities face
  • Discuss ways to assist Latinx families in overcoming these obstacles


Mayra E. Alvarez
President, The Children’s Partnership

Mayra E. Alvarez is President of The Children’s Partnership (TCP), a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization committed to giving every child, no matter their background, the resources and opportunities they need for a bright future. Under her leadership, TCP is building strong community partnerships, conducting forward-looking research, and advancing informed policy that betters the health and well-being of underserved children in California. She combines her decade of experience in health care policy and community outreach with her personal conviction that every child and family should have the opportunity and resources to pursue their dreams. Mayra came to TCP after a several-year set of assignments at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She was most recently the Director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the HHS. In this role, Mayra led a team responsible for supporting states in the establishment of Health Insurance Marketplaces, including State-Based Marketplaces, State Partnership Marketplaces, and Federally Facilitated Marketplaces. Prior to this, Mayra served as the Associate Director for the HHS Office of Minority Health, where she led the coordination of OMH’s work related to the Affordable Care Act, community health workers, and language access, as well as serving as the Project Director of OMH’s Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competency in Health Care. Previously, Mayra served as Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS where she had primary oversight responsibility for coordinated and timely implementation of the public health, prevention, and health care workforce policy provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining the Administration, Mayra served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), then-Majority Whip of the US Senate, where she advised the Senator and helped develop his legislative agenda on health issues. Prior to working in the office of Senator Durbin, she served as a Legislative Assistant for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, the chair of the Health Task Force for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Mayra began her professional career as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama. She completed her graduate education at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley. She has served as an accomplished bilingual spokesperson on the Affordable Care Act and other health issues for national and regional broadcast, print, and online media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, National Public Radio, Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español, and various state and local outlets. In 2014, Huffington Post named her one of “40 under 40: Latinos in American Politics.” Currently, Mayra serves on the board of Social Interest Solutions and is actively involved with the Summer Enrichment Program at the University of Michigan. She is originally from El Cajon, CA, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband.

Ariel McNichol
Co-founder & CEO

Currently building, a personalized video platform that is transforming outpatient behavioral health & engagement. Ariel's background in using evidence-based behavioral science to dictate design choices began at one of her earliest roles as a creative at Scientific Learning under Dr. Michael Merzenich where she help create pioneering, patented game interfaces to help children with learning disabilities. She has been a hands-on Creative Director, designing and building innovative, award-winning experiences for companies like Apple, Lucas Arts, Disney and The Annenberg Institute. As an entrepreneur, Ariel co-founded multiple companies including, an internationally popular avatar-based portable profile that she grew to millions of users and successful partnerships with Adidas and the NBA.

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