Refugees face a broad range of challenges that can make them more susceptible to mental health difficulties, including PTSD, depression, and suicide. Awareness of Western medical-based diagnoses is fundamental, but providers must also be aware of the ways that distress is manifested or verbalized by their clients, and feel empowered to provide culturally appropriate treatment or referrals.
The objectives of this webinar are to:
- Enhance the capabilities of providers in recognizing and meeting refugee mental health needs,
- Assist social service providers in responding to recent increases in suicide attempts in the refugee community
- Present indicators, warning signs and prevalence of PTSD, depression, somaticization and suicidal ideation
- Present evidence-based interventions for addressing PTSD, depression, somatiicization and suicide
This webinar is presented by Kristin L. Towhill, LCSW, a psychotherapist who serves as the Clinical Supervisor at the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture. She has worked extensively with clients with trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from torture, combat, and sexual abuse and assault. She has presented to a range of professionals, laypeople, and students on PTSD, complex trauma, dissociative disorders, and diversity.
Click the slide below to view the webinar
Download a PDF of the slides here
Download the Information Guide: Suicide Precaution: How to Identify When Levels of Sadness or Depression are a Concern
Download the Information Guide: Substance Abuse and the Torture Survivor Experience
Download the Information Guide: Working with Refugees with PTSD
View the webinar: Working with Refugees with PTSD
The National Partnership for Community Training, in collaboration with Lutheran Social Services South Dakota, will be hosting a training on September 10 -11, 2014 in Sioux Falls, SD for providers who serve the immigrant, refugee, asylee, and asylum-seeking populations.
Many professionals, such as social workers, teachers, doctors, nurses and mental health clinicians, may not have been trained in, and are generally unaware of, the specific issues, treatments and referral needs that survivors of torture can pose.
This training includes presentations from a nationally-recognized expert in the torture treatment field from the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture and in the substance abuse treatment field from Florida International University.
There is no charge for the training, but registration is required.
Registration deadline has been extended to Friday, August 29, 2014 or when we reach capacity.
CLICK HERE for more information.
The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present the information guide: Working with Refugees with PTSD
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can manifest as a result of experiencing, witnessing, or perpetrating torture or trauma and is one of the most common mental health issues experienced by refugees.
This information guide is based on a webinar presented by Kristin L. Towhill, LCSW, a Florida Center for Survivors of Torture clinical supervisor.
Download the information guide here
View the webinar here
Download a PDF of the presentation slides here
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can manifest as a result of experiencing, witnessing, or perpetrating torture or trauma. According to the CDC, PTSD along with Major Depression are the most common health issues experienced by refugees (2012).
The objectives of the webinar are to:
1. Enhance provider-client relationships and create more successful outcomes with refugees with PTSD
2. Provide an in-depth understanding of PTSD symptomatology and its impact on the survivor
3. Empower providers in making their own clinical decisions in the moment
The presenter is:
Kristen Towhill, LCSW, is a Clinical Supervisor at the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture. Ms. Towhill has worked extensively with clients with trauma and PTSD from torture, combat, and sexual abuse and assault. She has presented to a wide range of professionals and students on PTSD, complex trauma, dissociative disorders, and diversity.
This webinar was developed in conjunction with the Ethiopian Community Development Council.
Download the accompanying Information Guide: Working with Refugees with PTSD
Click the slide below to view the webinar
Download a PDF of the slides here
NPCT is pleased to present the latest Information Guide, Making Specialized Referrals. This information guide assists in making effective and informed referrals by highlighting the process and the content needed to develop and maintain a referral network. Screenings and referrals are necessary in order to ensure the effective use of holistic treatment for torture survivors. Screenings are not meant to be diagnostic tools, but rather instruments to help identify medical or mental health cases that might need to be referred to professionals outside of your agency. This guide highlights some of the more popular screening instruments currently being used in the refugee trauma field.
Download the Information Guide here.
Survivors of torture are not more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol; however, alcohol and substance abuse often develop secondarily in torture survivors as a way of obliterating traumatic memories, regulating affect, and managing anxiety.
This information guide assists social service providers in better understanding the nature, course, prevention, and treatment of substance use problems; the link between substance abuse and trauma; the models used to explain problematic use; and clinical considerations for working with substance abusing clients.
This information guide is based on the February 26, 2014 NPCT webinar, Substance Abuse and the Torture Survivor Experience.
Download the information guide: Substance Abuse and the Torture Survivor Experience
View the webinar
Download a PDF of the PowerPoint slides here
Congolese refugees have fled repeatedly over the last 15 years as various rebel groups have added to the unrest. As of January 2013, UNHCR reported over 509,000 Congolese refugees and 56,000 asylum seekers residing outside the country and approximately 2.6 million internally displaced people. Congolese refugees are not new to the US. About 13,000 Congolese have been resettled since 2001 with 65% of arrivals coming in the last four years.
This Information Guide offers some background and practical considerations for preparing for Congolese arrivals. In addition, this information guide offers a one page guide to a trauma informed and culturally syntonic approach to service provision, which assists in de-stigmatizing the Congolese and strengthens your role in helping them to become better contributing and functioning members of the community.
This Information Guide was based on the webinar, Strengthening the Congolese Community: Background, Resettlement, and Treatment, which was originally hosted by NPCT on December 11, 2013.
Download the Information Guide – Strengthening the Congolese Community: Background, Resettlement, and Treatment.
View the webinar.
Download a PDF of the PowerPoint slides here.
The International Rescue Committee has also released a Backgrounder on Congolese Women and Girls. Experiences of Refugee Women and Girls from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Learning from IRC’s Women’s Protection and Empowerment Programs in DRC, Tanzania, Burundi, and Uganda.
The varying degrees of trauma experienced by refugees and torture survivors can have physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral effects. In order to cope, forget, or ignore the impact of violent conflict, flight, resettlement, and adjustment some refugees and torture survivors may turn to substance use.
The objectives of this webinar are to:
- introduce the theories and model pertaining to substance abuse
- offer guidance in identifying, diagnosing, referring, and treating substance abuse within the refugee and torture survivor community
- address the apprehension of some social service providers in addressing substance abuse
- address the stigma and cultural norms associated with substance abuse
- offer best practices for dealing with substance abuse
The presenters are:
Eric F. Wagner, Ph.D., Director of Florida International University’s Community Based Intervention Research Group
Richard Mollica, M.D., M.A.R., Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Click the slide below to view the webinar.
Download a PDF of the slides here.
Suicides can occur in every community, culture, and country. However, the suicide rate for Bhutanese refugees resettling in the U.S. is nearly three times as high as the average suicide rate in the U.S. according to the International Organization for Migration. In addition, suicide has become an epidemic, especially among youth in Bhutan. The Royal Bhutan Police reported that from 2010 to October 2013, 293 suicides were reported.
Among refugee populations resettled in the U.S., the sense of loss from leaving one’s family and culture, coupled with language learning and employment difficulties can further one’s sense of hopelessness. In addition, the feeling of inadequacy stemming from an inability to provide for one’s family, lessened social support, family and community conflict after resettlement, worries about family in the home country, and difficulty retaining ones cultural and religious beliefs and traditions are also risk factors.
As social service providers, we can effectively assist our clients by educating ourselves on the warning signs, knowing how and when to refer, introducing families to social and education opportunities, and ensuring that clients have someone to help with the resettlement process and the myriad of changes along the way.
In an effort to combat the rising suicide rate among the Bhutanese population in the U.S., the National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to offer the following resources on suicide prevention.
- Suicide Precaution: How to identify when levels of sadness or depression are a concern
- An investigation into suicides among Bhutanese Refugees in the United States, 2009-2012: PowerPoint presentation
- An Investigation into suicides among Bhutanese refugees in the US: 2009-2012: Stakeholders Report
- Who am I? Assessment of psychosocial needs and suicide risk factors among Bhutanese refuges in Nepal after third country resettlement
- Refugee suicide prevention toolkit
-QPR training resources in English and Nepali
- Constructing a Social Problem: Suicide, Acculturation, and the Hmong
- Rates, risk factors, and self harm among minority ethnic groups in the UK
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Pocket Card
- translated in Nepali
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Pocket Card - English
- Yes, suicide is preventable: A survivor’s testimony
The ongoing refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the result of almost 16 years of violent conflict and unrest. By the end of 2012, over 2.4 million Congolese had been internally displaced and close to 500,000 had become refugees*. Ongoing instability in what is considered one of the most violent and war torn regions in the world has led to large scale trauma and torture.
Since 2000, the United States has resettled almost 12,000** refugees from the DRC, which is comprised of 250 ethnic groups and 700 languages. The diversity of the DRC makes it difficult to generalize about the abilities of the Congolese refugees coming into the US; however this webinar offers some valuable background on the country and the conflict, up-to-date resettlement information, and best, promising, and emerging therapeutic practices. [Read more...]