Once again Gulf Coast JFCS would like to thank TD Bank for the sweaters they donated to our Miami Refugee Youth Program. 40 sweaters were distributed to refugee teens from Cuba earlier this week. The first question that our clients had when we gave them their sweaters was how much was it going to cost. When we explained that it was a donation form TD bank, they wanted us all to know how thankful they were. TD Bank donated more than 5000 sweaters to Gulf Coast JFCS and we have distributed the sweaters to hundreds of clients around the state. To learn more about Gulf Coast JFCS’ work with refugees http://gulfcoastjewishfamilyandcommunityservices.org/refugee/refugee-programs/
Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services is seeking a dedicated individual to fill the volunteer position as a Refugee AmeriCorps Member. The individual will assist in providing direct services to refugees and supplement Preferred Communities Case Management activities by helping to develop a:(1) Mentoring Program;(2) Community Facilitated Enhanced Cultural Orientation; (3) Refugee Speakers Bureau. This position reports to Program Manager and Director.
Must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident and authorized to work in the U.S.
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a high school diploma or be willing to earn one while serving (undergraduate degree strongly preferred)
- Previous experience working with refugees and immigrants preferred.
- Bilingual (Spanish or Arabic) a plus to meet the current language needs of clients.
- Valid Driver’s License
- Current Automobile Insurance
- Must commit to one full year of service (1,700 hrs. of service) Living wage stipend provided.
Upon completion of service, Refugee AmeriCorps Member will be eligible for an education award of $5,730.
“Refugees: Roads To Success” PREP, the Digital Video Production Department of Pinellas Technical College, St. Petersburg, and Refugee Services of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) have combined resources to create revealing documentary film about how five refugee adults and one refugee student overcome individual challenges to achieve vocational and academic success in the Tampa Bay area. The video is featuring former Gulf Coast JFCS Refugee Youth client Samson Uwimana.
Samson, 20 years old Congolese, was discharged from RYS on April 2015. RYS nominated Nora Khaleel, and she was filmed for the project, but PTEC staff decided not to show her story
Reducing Refugee Mental Health Stigma by Leveraging Refugee Community Leaders to Educate Providers
- Discuss strategies for reducing mental health stigma within refugee communities
- Discuss strategies for reducing mental health stigma by providers
- Understand the benefits of establishing partnerships between community leaders and mental health clinics
- Understand the benefits of performing outreach to state and health coordinators, as well as to agencies, to advocate for refugee mental health issues
Parangkush Subedi, MS, MPH, Health Policy Analyst at the Office of Refugee Resettlement
Nancy Kelly, M Ed, Public Health Advisor at SAMHSA
Download a PDF of the slides here
Click the slide below to view the webinar
- Parangkush (PK) Subedi, MPH, MS, is a health policy analyst who joined Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in early July from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. At the health department, he served as a refugee health coordinator, facilitating the evaluation and treatment of infectious diseases among newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Previously, he worked at a refugee resettlement agency (HIAS-PA) in Philadelphia, overseeing initial health screening of refugees as a case manager and health coordinator. Mr. Subedi has been actively involved in mental health and suicide prevention activities for Bhutanese refugees in various cities.
- Nancy Kelly, M Ed has had 30 years of experience in the field of education. Ms. Kelly is currently employed as a public health advisor at SAMHSA. She works for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). Before arriving at CMHS, she served as a project director and senior training and technical assistance specialist with Education Development Center, Inc. Ms. Kelly was assigned to work with the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention providing training and technical assistance on the Safe Schools/Healthy Students project and the Tribal Youth Program. She served as Project Director for the Improving Mental Health Assessment and Service Delivery for Youth Expelled from Schools in California study funded by the California Endowment Fund. Ms. Kelly also served in grant programs related to substance abuse prevention and intervention, mental health prevention/early intervention, academic success, violence prevention, and social/emotional well-being.
The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present the Information Guide: The Role of Advocacy in Capacity Building.
This information guide can assist you in advocating for greater support for your agencies in order to better assist your clients. The bond between advocacy and capacity building led to the signing of the Torture Victims Relief Act by President Clinton in 1998 and its subsequent reauthorization. Continued advocacy can strengthen the refugee resettlement program by guaranteeing that refugees, torture survivors, asylees, and asylum seekers are given the utmost support upon resettlement in the U.S. thereby leading to successful integration.
- Refugee Advocacy Listserv
- Refugee Council USA
- National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
- Interfaith Immigration Coalition
- World Relief
Staff & Survivors interviewed by El Nuevo Herald speak of the impact of the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture a program of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the United Nations Fund for Victims of Torture.
“FCST provides linkage to survivors through their network of providers that includes psychologists, social workers, interpreters, lawyers, and medical as well as others.”
The article can be read in English here
The National Partnership for Community Training, in collaboration with Tennessee Office for Refugees/Catholic Charities, will be hosting a training on July 22-23, 2015 in Nashville, TN 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 nationally-recognized experts in the torture treatment field from the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture and the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma.
There is no charge for the training, but registration is required.
Please register by Monday, July 13, 2015.
CLICK HERE for more information and to register.
The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present the Information Guide: Assisting Refugees in Applying for Disability Exceptions for U.S. Citizenship
This information guide informs refugee service providers and community leaders, as well as clinical and legal professionals, about the criteria and process for seeking disability exceptions for citizenship. It addresses the general requirements of Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions from a legal, medical and psychological perspective.
- Examination Information and Tools:
- USCIS Policy:
- For USCIS specific questions email USCIS-IGAOutreach@uscis.dhs.gov
The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present the Information Guide: Working with Interpreters: Service Provision with Torture Survivors.
Work with interpreters should be grounded in best practices, with creativity and flexibility to fit the context. Cross-cultural and trauma-informed skills are critical in interpreted services with traumatized refugees. We can anticipate, manage, and address challenges faced by refugees, interpreters and service providers.
- Download the information guide here
- View the webinar here
- Download a PDF of the presentation slides here
- Conducting effective, culturally-informed, and trauma-informed services through interpretation
- Identifying and addressing challenges related to interpretation
- Training interpreters and care providers in use of interpretation
- Enhance provision of services to traumatized refugees of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds
- Increase awareness, knowledge and skills of service providers working with traumatized refugees
- Offer strategies for more effective communication when using interpreters
- Offer participants best and promising practices for working with torture survivors
Trauma, Spirituality and Faith: An Overview of the Interplay as Survivors Risk Connection and Recovery
- Effectively convey the importance of faith communities in health and recovery for refugees, immigrants, torture survivors, and others who have experienced trauma
- Connect spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and ritual to healing and community-building
- Equip providers with knowledge and tools useful in leveraging faith communities in the service of reaching out to torture survivors
- Embed best and promising practices for working with survivors of torture in the context of connecting with faith communities
The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present the Information Guide: Understanding and Treating the Deleterious Effects of Refugee Trauma on Health.
While relevant for all providers, this information guide is targeted particularly towards physicians and clinical practitioners. The guide outlines general principles for medical professionals working with survivors of torture, explaining common medical problems survivors may present, as well as how trauma somaticizes into illness. The guide provides tips for eliciting the trauma story from clients.
This information guide is based on research and modules presented at NPCT trainings developed by Dr. Allen Keller, MD, the Director of the NYU/Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture and Dr. Richard Mollica MD, Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma.
Download the information guide here
Watch Dr. Allen Keller’s webinar: Primary Care for Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma
Watch Dr. Richard Mollica’s webinar: Health Promotion for Torture and Trauma Survivors
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
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
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
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…]
The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present some recent success stories of Congolese refugees.
Charlotte, a refugee originally from the Congo, is a skilled and trained tailor with more than twenty years experience in the tailoring business in Ethiopia and Congo. She also worked as a teacher for a United Nations (UN) Sewing Project for Women in Ethiopia. Charlotte was resettled by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Tucson, Arizona in 2008 with her husband and four children. -excerpt taken from ORR
Violette is a refugee who arrived in the United States from the Congo. Violette is one of our most outgoing and expressive clients to date. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, starting her own home-based childcare business was a natural fit. Violette completed many hours of child care business training and passed all county, health and safety inspections perfectly. She now boasts three enrolled children. – excerpt taken from ORR
And the winner of the Nansen Refugee Award, Sister Angélique Namaika
Sister Angélique Namaika, a 46-year-old Congolese Roman Catholic nun who has been working with displaced women and girls for a decade in the remote town of Dungu, in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Sister Angélique assists displaced women and girls who have been forced from their homes by armed groups – including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – and helps them to pick up the pieces of their lives.