Behind The Desk: Ms. Lamers Hernandez


Mariana Perez, Editor

Ms. Lamers Hernandez is the new mental health specialist at Tosa East.

What do you do as a mental health specialist/school social worker?

“I support student’s mental health and wellness needs. Specifically, Mental Health is the ability to be aware of your emotions and having the skills to express yourself and also being able to cope in a healthy and productive way. In this work I hope to destigmatize mental health- When you are sick you go see a doctor, and in the same way, when things are not going well emotionally you seek support and talk to a trusted adult. I can meet with students individually, and I also run groups on a variety of topics. Other times I just provide safe spaces for students to take a break.”

When days/times are you available to meet with students?

“I am here full time Monday through Friday. Students can tell their teacher that they would like to meet with me and they can schedule a time, or students can email me individually. Students can also stop in to see if I’m available.”

Can you tell me about the journey you took to get to where you are now?

“My journey started with working with kids. I started very early in high school. As soon as I graduated high school, I was a camp counselor with the YMCA. Then, I started working with the YMCA year round. I worked with students in an after school program. In my early 20s I moved to New York City to kind of figure things out. There, I came across a really cool program at Brooklyn College for bilingual educators. It was through bilingual people services that I became a teacher. During my first few years of teaching, I was an elementary school bilingual education teacher. I really believed in fostering ones primary or first language. A few years into teaching, I realized that basic needs weren’t being met for some students. Eliminating barriers to education is what really drew me to school social work.”

What brought you to East/Wauwatosa?

“The fact that I could support students in this role as a mental health specialist. I also want to make an impact on mental health as a whole. I also love that I am able to connect families to resources.”

What are some of your hobbies?

“I love spending time with my kids and drawing. I actually started college as an art major.”

What is something that not a lot of people know about you?

“I’m a doula. I offer emotional, physical, and informational support to a birthing person.”

What is your favorite way to de-stress?

“Spending time in nature. I’ll grab my dog and go on a walk while listening to music. Another good de-stresser is meeting up with friends and just talking.”

If you could speak to yourself as a teen, what advice would you give?

“Love myself, be who I am, and everything is going to be okay.”

Who is your favorite celebrity/a celebrity that you relate to?

“Frida Kahlo.”

If you could listen to one song/read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Book: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” by Milan Kundera.

Song: “Nunca Es Suficiente,” by Los Angeles Azules.

Was there ever a time in your life when something bad happened to you that lead to something great?

“When I was in second grade, my family decided to move back to Mexico when the U.S was my home. The transition was difficult at first. A few years later, my family decided to move back to the U.S, which was also a difficult transition. Looking back, I see how great that was because I was able to become bilingual and biliterate. I became so much closer to my culture and family. I experienced a way of life that I would’ve never known if I had only grown up in the U.S.”

 Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity.