Neighbor to Neighbor: Care and Connect

La vida no es la fiesta que habíamos imaginado, pero ya estamos aquí… ¡Bailemos!

“In English this means something in the spirit of: Life is not the party we imagined, but let’s dance while we’re here. Political uncertainty coupled with concerns about not having enough food, housing, jobs, and safety all deeply impact Latino communities and our mental health. Even people with legal status worry about being mistakenly arrested or discriminated against. One of the tips I share with families is to reduce the time they spend watching the news and to try to not worry about something in the news until it becomes a reality.” – Laura Hernandez Andrews, Breaking Down Barriers Program

Laura recommends the GRAPES approach to reduce stress:

G Be gentle with yourself. Avoid thinking like “I should have or could have” and instead remember that wherever you are, that’s where you are.
R Spend time relaxing. When we are stressed, we are focused on what is going on around us, so try to bring your focus back on yourself and take a minute to breathe.
A Accomplish something small. For example, clean one room or part of a room, or reorganize a drawer. Pick something small and manageable.
P Try to find purpose in life.
E Exercise! Go for a walk or dancing!
S It is essential for our mental health to connect. Socialize and hang out with family and friends or volunteer. 


Good Morning Superhero!

“More than anything, parents want to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, we can’t shield our kids from everything that happens at home, school, and in our neighborhood or what they see on TV. What matters is talking about it and always having hope for your child’s happy, safe, and peaceful future. The Teaching Tolerance website has many resources for responding to hurtful remarks and discussing differences: – Shanti Bond-Martinez, Community Member

Try out one of the activities available through the Care, Cope, Connect Activity Guide available at

Belly Breathe as a Family: Put your hands on your bellies. Take three deep breaths in and out. Feel your bellies rise and fall. Put a stuffed animal on your child’s belly. Have him “rock it to sleep” with each breath.

Good Morning, Superhero! Sometimes you have to work to find strength from inside. Stand straight and tall in front of a mirror and together call out one of these phrases:

  • “I am strong and brave!”
  • “I have a family who loves me no matter what!”
  • “I respect others!”
  • “I believe in myself!” “I have hope for the future!”
  • “If I fall down, I’ll get back up!”
  • “My family will always help me!”

If you’re feeling alone, don’t hesitate to reach out beyond yourself, so that you can help yourself.

“My name is Kat, and I’m a local, community-based activist. I’ve called both San Diego Access and Crisis Line and the TrevorLifeline when I was having a hard time. I’ve sometimes had a hard time negotiating being married to a woman (a same-gender partnership) within the context of my traditional, heteronormative family lineage. It isn’t always easy to exchange familial tradition for personal integrity! Thus, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m grateful that the therapists at San Diego Access and Crisis Line have been specifically trained to serve our community. I’m also grateful that warmlines like the TrevorLifeline exist, which are extremely helpful. Warmlines are typically comprised of volunteers from the community rather than licensed, mental health clinicians, and are there to listen. After making these phone calls, I felt more grounded and ready to take positive action in my life.”– Kat Katsanis-Semel, M.A., Mental Health America of San Diego Pronouns: She, Her, Hers 

  • TrevorLifeline: a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at (866) 488-7386.
  • Trans Lifeline: a crisis hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people; available every day from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. at (877) 565-8860. The line is primarily for transgender people in a crisis, who are either struggling with gender identity or thoughts of self-harm.

Additional resources: