Hola, I Am Here!
My name is Ysabel Garcia, and I am a first-generation Dominican immigrant with a bold and ambitious mission to dive heart first into raw and honest conversations about mental health, equity, and suicide prevention. I am a social justice educator, skilled dialogue facilitator, wounded healer, and disruptor of systems of oppression.
As a psychiatric system survivor, I have witnessed the harmful effects of mainstream mental health practices, which often ignore the social and cultural factors underlying mental health issues. Still, I show an endearing sense of humor during typically dark discussions and have the ability to talk openly about my experiences of pain to inspire others to do the same.
I embody my messaging and personality through Estoy Aqui training spaces, where I offer clarity, compassion, and culturally responsive support to organizations and institutions serving the Latino/x and Black communities.
I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Bay Path University. I also have an exhaustive training record, including certifications for Intentional Peer Support, Nonviolent Communication, Intergroup Dialogue, and Basic Mediation.
You will find detailed descriptions and objectives for all my training offerings on this website. Enjoy!
Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP)
Equity Alliance People of Color Caucus Member
Ysabel provides her social justice expertise to support the alliance’s activity implementations. She has helped develop the toolkit, “Widening the Lens: Exploring the Role of Social Justice and Racial Equity in Suicide Prevention” and participated in the Facebook video campaign #SuicideDoesntDiscriminate in Spanish.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Lived Experience Advisory Committee Member
Ysabel provides consultation services to SPRC based on her expertise and personal experience with suicide for the creation of training materials, such as webinars, guidebooks, and toolkits.
Springfield Youth Mental Health Coalition
Training and Technical Assistance Committee Member
Ysabel offers Estoy Aqui LLC training to school staff and community members who work directly with youth.
The Western MA Training Consortium
Board of Directors
Ysabel prioritizes the alignment between the organization’s anti-oppressive vision, mission, and values with current and proposed programs.
UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate
Baystate Community Faculty
Ysabel supports the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) track by engaging in discussions about community-based medical education (CBME) actions.
Hampden County Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Network
Behavioral Health Community Team Member
Ysabel works to reduce mental health inequities by implementing the La Cultura Sana Project with the financial support of the CHIP and Baystate Health.
The Women of Color Health Equity Collective
Training Committee Member
Due to her belief that cultural humility and suicide prevention are connected, Ysabel engages in the co-facilitation of the Collective’s cultural humility curriculum.
Growing a New Heart
Training Team Member
Ysabel co-facilitates the Dialogues Across Difference curriculum, which teaches skills to handle difficult conversations across social locations.