In this special episode, Laura Gomez-Horton, Clinical Director of YWCA Greater Austin, explains how the mental effects of the COVID-19 crisis are showing up and we talk about how to take care of yourself.
Laura Gómez-Horton is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board-Approved Supervisor through the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners. She received a Bachelor and Master of Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and 1997, respectively. She is currently the clinical director at the YWCA Greater Austin whose adopted mission is “eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”
Laura has extensive experience providing bilingual services and working with individuals, children, families, and groups in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, depression, anxiety, PTSD, immigration, parenting, cultural identity, prenatal/postnatal mental health, grief and loss, and self-advocacy. Previously, as the Social Services Coordinator at the Texas Civil Rights Project, Laura established the social services program for their statewide offices and developed the Austin Promotora program, a grassroots self-advocacy group comprised of women who had qualified to adjust their legal status in the U.S. as authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She also worked at the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin as part of the clinical faculty and provided therapeutic services through SafePlace (now the Safe Alliance), a local non-profit addressing issues of domestic violence and sexual assault in Austin. In addition, she provided therapeutic bilingual services through independent practice and co-founded Within Your Reach/A Su Alcance, a program providing bilingual personal-development workshops.
Her experiences in the Austin area culminated in developing a focus on providing therapeutic services and advocating for clients who are Spanish-speaking, immigrant, and/or marginalized. Laura has participated in training videos, and various English and Spanish-language radio and television news interviews discussing mental health issues and current events impacting the community. She has provided extensive presentations/workshops and has developed, coordinated and facilitated various therapeutic and support groups. She currently co-facilitates the monthly dialogues on Issues of Racism and Discrimination at the YWCA Greater Austin.
Laura is also a Member of National Association for Social Workers (NASW) and sits on the advisory board for the R.E.A.L. (Social Justice) Committee for NASW-TX. She also sits on the board for Wells Branch Elementary PTA and Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project.