Guilford County’s growing immigrant community is one of the county’s most underserved populations for mental health services. The correlation between immigrant status and depression, anxiety, and substance abuse makes such services a critical need.
Beginning this fall, one largely immigrant neighborhood will become the site of a new community-based mental health care provider through a project led by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The project will involve the departments of social work at N.C. A&T and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) at UNCG, and the joint A&T-UNCG master’s degree program in social work.
The project will focus on the Oakwood Forest community, off U.S. 29 north of Greensboro. The neighborhood has about 480 households and 2,400 residents. Eighty percent are of Mexican descent with limited English-language ability. The program will be funded for its first three years by a $447,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable
Trust of Winston-Salem.
Most of Oakwood Forest’s households are characterized as working poor with temporary jobs in construction, restaurants, and other service industries. In general across the nation, the Latino/Hispanic population is among those with the highest poverty rate and lowest rate of health insurance.