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Promotoras in Mental Health: A Review of English, Spanish, and Portuguese Literature

Stacciarini, Jeanne-Marie R. PhD, RN; Rosa, Ana RN; Ortiz, Melissa B.S(HEB); Munari, Denize B. RN, PhD; Uicab, Gloria RN, PhD; Balam, Maricela RN

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3182464f65
Lay Health Promoters/Community Health Workers

Promotoras have worked in various areas of public health; however, there is a lack of understanding about their work in mental health. This article reviews the literature in 3 different cultures/languages (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) and aims to describe promotoras' roles, training, and interventions and their outcomes related to mental health activities. Results demonstrate that in different cultures/languages, promotoras empower community members to promote mental health and prevent exacerbation of individuals' mental illness. Promotoras, when trained carefully, have the ability to increase awareness and to promote mental health in populations that would otherwise have limited or no access to care.

College of Nursing (Dr Stacciarini and Ms Rosa) and College of Health and Human Performance (Ms Ortiz), University of Florida, Gainesville; School of Nursing, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil (Dr Munari); and School of Nursing, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico (Dr Uicab and Ms Balam).

Correspondence: Jeanne-Marie R. Stacciarini, PhD, RN, Department of Health Care Environments and Systems, College of Nursing, University of Florida, 101 S Newell Dr, Gainesville, FL 32611 (

The authors thank Lisa Delacure and Patricia Casey for their editorial help. The authors also thank Bruna França Martins de Araújo for her support on searching the Portuguese literature.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.