April 3, 2022

By Paloma Moscardó-Vallés

On March 24th, the Medical Spanish classes (SPA 205) were lucky to come together with a fantastic guest speaker: Michelle Silva, PsyD. Doctor Silva is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University and she has enriched our class with her academic background as well as her own personal experience growing up in Connecticut from an Ecuadorian family. On top of that, Dr. Silva is the Director of the Connecticut Latino Behavioral Health System. Her work bridges practice, education, and clinical research, and she engages in multidisciplinary collaborations designed to promote health equity among vulnerable and underserved communities.

Based at the Connecticut Mental Health Center, Dr. Silva provides clinical services to individuals affected by immigration-related trauma at the Hispanic Clinic, and treats children, adolescents, and families at the West Haven Mental Health Clinic. She serves as a supervising psychologist for fellows in the Department's Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology, and faculty advisor to health professional students in the Behavioral Health Department of the Yale HAVEN Free Clinic.

Her engagement and experience working with the Latino community, made her talk the perfect way to end the topic of Mental Health in our class. Dr. Silva talked about the different trauma experiences that she sees after any immigration journey and the ways to treat it. She talked as well about identity issues in our community, and she offered hope when highlighting our sources of strength as a way to overcome trauma.