Ysabel Garcia is 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. She is a social justice educator, skilled dialogue facilitator, wounded healer, and disruptor of systems of oppression.
As a psychiatric system survivor, Garcia has witnessed the harmful effects of mainstream mental health practices, which often ignore the social and cultural factors underlying mental health issues. Still, she shows an endearing sense of humor during typically dark discussions and is able to talk openly about her experiences of pain to inspire others to do the same.
She embodies her messaging and personality through Estoy Aqui LLC’s professional development and training spaces. There, she offers clarity, compassion, and culturally responsive support to organizations wanting to learn more about the social, cultural, and structural aspects of mental health in Latine and Black communities.
Garcia also moves her vision forward through a variety of roles outside Estoy Aqui LLC, including the Lived Experience Advisory Committee for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), Advisory Board Member of the Springfield Youth Mental Health Coalition, Board member of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, Community Faculty at Baystate/UMass PURCH, and Co-Trainer at Growing A New Heart.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Bay Path University. She also has an exhaustive training record, including certifications for Intentional Peer Support, Nonviolent Communication, Intergroup Dialogue, and Basic Mediation.