SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gándara Center is partnering with Latino Economic Development Corporation to offer small business owners mental health services.

The program “Built Together” was announced Wednesday to provide bilingual and culturally competent mental health services to help Latino business owners and their families. Services are offered at the Gándara Center in two locations, 2155 Main Street and 85 St. George Road in Springfield. For more information call 1-877-733-4187.

“Our hope is that by offering these services we will help those dealing with urgent mental health concerns before they become a crisis situation,” said Lois Nesci, Chief Executive Officer of Gándara.

“I hear from business owners when times are tough or even very successful, the weight on their shoulders working 70 hours a week can be difficult for them and their family. Having a place to call and get extra support is crucial to the success of their business,” stated Andrew Melendez from Latino EDC.

A 2020 report showed that Latinx individuals often have a difficult time securing funding from a bank for their businesses, leading to owners working overtime without the capital to hire staff and that can lead to burnout over time.

“During this climate, pre-pandemic, post-pandemic… we have a lot of struggling families. Including families that are struggling that are business owners,” said Springfield Representative Carlos Gonzalez.

It’s estimated that services from the Gándara Center reach more than 15,000 children and families each year.