El Futuro, Inc.
History: El Futuro was incorporated in November 2004 and clients were first seen in November 2005. From its formation, El Futuro has been committed to unmet needs present in Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s growing local Latino community.
Mission: El Futuro’s mission is to strengthen the whole community by providing and advancing bilingual and culturally informed behavioral health treatment for underserved Spanish-speaking individuals and families.
About El Futuro: El Futuro is a young and dynamic organization that has attracted national recognition for its pioneering work to provide mental health services to Latino families in central North Carolina. Many of those we help have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, human trafficking, migration trauma, and many other traumas associated with poverty and immigration. In 2011, we served 1,374 people with 9,198 sessions of psychiatry and therapy treatment; averaging 6.7 visits per person and 99% of people served were financially needy per Federal Poverty Level guidelines. In surveys of our former clients, 99% of respondents reported feeling helped, respected and indicated they would recommend El Futuro’s services to friends or family. Indeed, the majority of referrals for our services come from those we have helped in the past.
Statement of Need: Hispanics/Latinos comprise 8.3% of Orange County’s population according to the 2010 US Census. The economic downturn, coupled with severe cutbacks in social programs and the unique socio-economic stresses faced by Latino immigrants means that the need for our services is ever-increasing. Overall, Latino clients have traditionally been served by the state’s public mental health system at less than 1/3 the rate of other population groups. Indeed, recent Orange County Action Plans published by the United Way prioritize the need to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health and substance abuse services to underserved individuals in our community. For Latino youth and families, the unfortunate consequences of going untreated are further cycles of abuse and trauma, school failure and high-risk behaviors. Leaving mental health issues untreated has devastating repercussions. Among high school female students the rate of attempted suicide among Latino girls (14.9%) was more than that of African American (9.0%) and non-Hispanic white (10.3%) girls. The percentage of North Carolina’s Latino students that drop out of high school secondary to substance abuse or crime-related incidents is two times that of whites and of African Americans. Latino youth are also twice as likely to engage in high risk drinking and driving behavior as their peers from other ethnic groups. Recently, El Futuro has seen a 30% increase in clients suffering from violent crime victimization.