Indira Soto has always been interested in people. From a young age, she wanted to study the way we think. But when she decided to major in psychology, she faced a lot of stigma in her native Dominican Republic. Determined to overcome this stigma, Indira earned a doctoral degree in psychology and moved to Massachusetts where she would eventually join the CCA team in 2015.
As a Community Behavioral Health Specialist at CCA, Indira does a lot of assessments and treatment plans for members. But she knows one of the most important aspects of behavioral health is education—especially when it comes to the stigma around mental health. Some members are hesitant to use behavioral health services because they don’t think they need help. When working with members, Indira always explains why she makes certain recommendations, but she also lets members know their feelings are valid.
“It’s important to connect members with treatment that works for them because the first rule of medicine is: do no harm.”
Because of the pandemic, there has been increased need for behavioral health services. Many members struggled with loneliness or grief from losing loved ones. Indira and her team have been providing support through phone and video calls.
Before the pandemic, Indira liked being able to visit members’ homes. In Worcester, where her team is located, there is a large Vietnamese population. To be respectful of her members’ beliefs, she researched what to do and what not to do when visiting Vietnamese members homes. She also researched their views on behavioral health.
“We need to know about other cultures, meet them where they are, and respect their values.”
If you are struggling with sadness, mood changes, anxiety, stress, alcohol or drug use, or just feel like you can’t cope with something, we can help you. CCA has behavioral health specialists available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week to speak with you about your mental health or substance use concerns and questions. Our trained specialists can speak with you over the phone to work through the problem and develop a plan to help you care for yourself. Just call 866-610-2273 and follow the prompts.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening condition or medical issue, please call 911.