SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Latino Counseling Center in Springfield celebrated their five-year anniversary and the grand opening of their new clinic.

On Tuesday, the owners of the counseling center hosted their ribbon cutting outside of their newest location on 121 State Street Springfield followed by a celebration at the Community Music School of Springfield for lunch and networking.

After five years of serving the community as a mental health provider, the CEO of the center Jonathan Alicea says they have 77 providers working in their practice and they have more than 2,000 clients. Alicea tells 22News there is a huge need for more mental health providers in the area.

“The need is huge. It’s not easy to support the whole structure when it comes to mental health. There is a big need and we are very committed to work with our staff,” said Alicea.

The CDC says mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States. Because of this, the Latino Counseling Center is making it their priority to provide treatment, raise awareness for mental health and help people maintain a good mental health.

In Massachusetts, the largest group of Latinos is Puerto Rican (42 percent), and Latinos are concentrated in Boston and the state’s “gateway cities.” The cities and towns with the highest concentrations of Latinos are Lawrence (77 percent of the city population), Chelsea (66 percent), Holyoke (50 percent), Springfield (42 percent) and Lynn (36 percent). Researchers say Latino population growth accounts for 92 percent of Boston’s total growth from 1980 to 2015.

The Latino Counseling Center is a non-profit organization that has provided behavioral and psychiatric health services for five years. The clinic has 77 providers with more than 2,000 active clients.

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