Through these Webinars you can learn more about important issues in the torture treatment field, hear leaders in the field discuss effective interventions, and gain an understanding of challenges faced by survivors of torture.

Refugee Services National Partnership for Community Training

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:

  1. Enhance the capabilities of providers in recognizing and meeting refugee mental health needs,
  2. Assist social service providers in responding to recent increases in suicide attempts in the refugee community
  3. Present indicators, warning signs and prevalence of PTSD, depression, somaticization and suicidal ideation
  4. 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 Post-traumatic 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”

See the webinar here.

See the PowerPoint presentation here.

Objectives

  1. Provide an overview of alternative modalities to refugee mental health
  2. Identify replicatable tools and approaches to integrating modalities into health and resettlement services
  3. Explore the meanings of alternative, non-traditional, complementary, and integrative theories and methods
  4. Highlight program frameworks that encourage holistic health care
  5. Explore various body-based and art therapy interventions including dance, acupuncture, meditation, and massage

Presenters

Jennifer Shuart, LICSW, RN
Alternative Modality Expertise: Co-counseling clinical model with interpreters and refugee clients
Jennifer received her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University and focused on macro level practice with an internship in child maltreatment. She has worked in various settings within child and family welfare, including the Department of Children and Families, emergency crisis unit at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and as an intensive home-based therapist working with families and children who struggled with PTSD. Most recently Jennifer completed a direct entry nursing program and is also now a licensed RN in Massachusetts. She is scheduled to begin the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program in Fall 2016 with the ultimate goal of continuing work with refugees.

Amber Elizabeth Gray, MA, MPH, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC
Alternative Modality Expertise: Integration of somatic and arts-based therapies into clinic work in cross cultural contexts
Amber Gray is an award winning Dance Movement Therapist who has worked in refugee mental health and torture treatment since 1998. She has served as a senior clinician, a clinical director, a director and the founding program coordinator for torture treatment and refugee mental health programs in Colorado, Haiti and New Mexico. She was a Clinical Advisor to The Center for Victims of Torture for two years, and has consulted and provided clinical training on refugee mental health, torture treatment and creative arts, mindfulness, and body-based therapies with survivors and refugees to more than 30 programs worldwide since the 1990’s. As a pioneer for the use of Somatic Psychology, Dance Movement Therapy and Continuum Movement with survivors of torture and refugees, Amber’s expertise in “alternative” and creative arts therapies is represented in many published articles and chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations and presentations around the world. She originated a resiliency-based framework and practice (Restorative Movement Psychotherapy) for mind-heart-spirit, somatic, movement and arts-based therapies with survivors of trauma in cross cultural, low resource contexts, and is co-developing Polyvagal-informed Dance Movement Therapy with Dr. Porges, based on the wisdom of whole body intelligence. She currently is Executive Director of The Kint Institute’s Certificate Program for the Arts in Trauma Treatment.

Julia Kuck, PhD
Alternative Modality Expertise: Somatic, equine-assisted, and expressive arts therapies
Julia Kuck is a classically trained neuropsychologist and clinician in private practice, specializing in complex case assessment and treatment of individuals with mood, developmental, psychotic, and trauma-based conditions. She is a non-salaried Assistant Clinical Professor at UC San Diego in the Department of Psychiatry and an Adjunct Professor at Alliant International University where she teaches and mentors graduate and medical students in psychology, couples and family therapy, psychiatry, and medicine. She has felt privileged to work as a contracted clinical provider in assessment and trauma recovery for over 15 years at Survivors of Torture International, helping individuals navigate the asylum and healing process. Her training in Somatic Experiencing and expressive arts has helped clients build awareness of their unique resiliencies that support them along their healing path. She credits her wisest teacher, her horse, in helping her learn that the mind takes a distant third place in healing and relationships, directly behind the instinctual knowing of the gut and the primary wisdom of our first brain – the heart.

This webinar informed 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 addressed the general requirements of Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions from a legal, medical and psychological perspective.

Download a PDF of the slides here

Due to USCIS regulations this webinar could not be recorded.

Objectives

  1. Describe multi-disciplinary team approach to address complicated mental health concerns among refugees
  2. Connect common physical symptoms that may be associated with a mental health concern and how to identify them
  3. Share therapeutic considerations for refugees seeking care at integrative healthcare settings

See the link to the recording here.

See the powerpoint here.

Subject Matter Expert

Jan Jenkins, PhD

Jan Jenkins is a clinical psychologist and the Director of the Colorado Refugee Wellness Center. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and is certified in global mental health through the Harvard Trauma and Recovery Program. Dr. Jenkins has worked extensively in the trauma, integrated care, and refugee mental health arenas and has presented at the North American Refugee Health Conference. She has directed several grant-funded projects pertaining to enhancing health equity for refugees, utilization of refugee health navigators to enhance efficacy of healthcare, and development of culturally responsive systems of refugee integrated care. The CO Refugee Wellness Center is a collaboration between primary care and mental health partners: Metro Community Provider Network and Aurora Mental Health Center. It is located in Aurora, CO, one of the most diverse cities of its size in the country and home to the majority of refugees in the state. Metro Community Provider Network, under contract with the Colorado Refugee Services Program, provides medical screenings for newly arriving refugees and Aurora Mental Health Center partners to provide mental health screenings. Ongoing integrated primary and behavioral healthcare is also provided.

Additional Resources

This case study was the fourth installment in a four-part series on integrative healthcare settings.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 1 (Webinar): SEE “Integrative Healthcare Settings: Exploring Approaches and Benefits for Refugees
  • Installment 2 (Post-Webinar Discussion): SEE “Integrative Healthcare Settings: Addressing Mental Health in Primary Care
  • Installment 3 (Webinar): SEE “Integrating Refugee Mental Healthcare: RHS-15 and healthcare providers

Community Engagement: Refugee-Focused Collaboratives

This Post-Webinar Discussion continues the conversation started in the webinar (SEE:) Community Impact: Effective Messaging and Trauma Informed Care Approachesfurther exploring the community engagement strategy of the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles.

The Post Webinar Discussion’s objectives are as follows:

  1. Discuss how community partners can utilize their local expertise to raise awareness and decrease stigma of mental health
  2. Review community engagement strategies used to build and foster community connections
  3. Share ways in which resettlement agencies can best work with national and local partners to enhance community’s mental health perspective

A PDF of the powerpoint: Community Engagement PWD PPT

Webinar video link: Community Engagement PWD Video.

Subject Matter Expert

Carolina Sheinfeld
Since 2016, Carolina Sheinfeld has served as the Chair of the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles, which is comprised of many organizations that encourage its members to create thoughtful and creative community alliances, from which refugees will accrue benefits, provide education and learning opportunities for members and to increase public awareness of the refugees and their vitality in the communities in which they have found homes. Carolina also has worked with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles since 2003, first as an International Human Rights Analyst and most recently as the Project Coordinator for LAFLA’s Torture Survivors Project. With a team of four attorneys and one social worker her program provides legal assistance, case management and community education to refugees and asylum seekers and facilitates the integration process of vulnerable immigrant groups.

Community Impact: Effective messaging and trauma informed care approaches

This webinar offers a presentation of how effective messaging and trauma informed care practices contribute to a healthy and welcoming environment for refugees.

Webinar Objectives

  1. Provide examples of effective messaging around refugee resettlement topics
  2. Highlight messaging tools to aid in reaching different audiences
  3. Explore how trauma informed care can be implemented in various community organizations
  4. Offer examples of collaborating with diverse community members to address refugee mental health

Webinar PDF: Community Engagement PPT

Link to the video here

Meet the Subject Matter Experts

Hannah Carswell
As project manager of Welcoming America’s Welcoming Refugees project, Hannah Carswell oversees the provision of a variety of technical assistance offerings, which support refugee service providers in building more welcoming communities. After graduating from Berry College in 2008 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Hannah spent a year in Bali studying Indonesian language and culture as a Darmasiswa Scholar. When she returned to the United States, she served as the AmeriCorps English as a Second Language Counselor and New Arrivals Coordinator at Refugee Family Services (now New American Pathways). Hannah earned her Masters in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University.

Andrea Blanch, PhD
Andrea Blanch is a senior consultant for SAMHSA’s National Center on Trauma Informed Care(NCTIC).  She is also Acting Director of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP), a new national organization promoting trauma-informed public policy at the federal, state, local and tribal levels. Andrea also directs a non-profit organization, the Center for Religious Tolerance, which supports interfaith peace building and women’s empowerment in the U.S. and across the globe.

Jane Evans
Jane Evans is the Wellness Program Social Worker at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, an affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries and Church World Service, in Louisville, Kentucky. She began working as KRM’s Mental Health Coordinator in February 2012. Jane works individually with refugee clients to access mental health services and provide intensive case management, performs outreach to community agencies involved in refugee mental health to increase cultural competency and address gaps in service, facilitates adjustment support groups within the local refugee populations, and strives to promote wellness to both refugees and their helpers. She received her MSSW from the University of Louisville in 2010.

Additional Resources

This webinar was the first installment in a two-part series on community impact.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 2 (Post-Webinar Discussion) SEE: “Community Engagement: Refugee-Focused Collaboratives

See the webinar here.

See the powerpoint presentation here.

Objectives

  1. Provide an overview of the legal and policy-level impacts relevant to refugees and DV
  2. Discuss issues refugees and resettlement workers face when clients experience domestic violence post-resettlement
  3. Identify common challenges and potential solutions for creating a community of service providers dedicated to helping survivors of DV

Presenters

Elena Dineen
Elena Dineen is a Staff Attorney for Programs at Futures Without Violence.   Her work at Futures focuses on the workplace impacts of domestic and sexual violence, building collaborative responses to human trafficking, and issues related to the intersection between intimate partner violence and immigration.  Prior to joining Futures, Ms. Dineen was a Directing Attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. in Salinas, California, where she represented farmworkers and other low-wage workers and their families in employment, education, housing, and immigration cases and litigation.

Limia Obadi
Limia Obadi is the Domestic Violence Program Manager at Tapestri. She is originally from Ethiopia. Her family is from Yemen and she grew up with both middle-eastern and Ethiopian culture. She first began working with Tapestri as a volunteer in March 2009, and started working as a Legal Advocate in February 2010. Limia is very involved with the Ethiopian community in Atlanta. She has been involved in various workshops and has been providing culturally appropriate services for the immigrant and refugee population. She coordinated and organized focus groups and various media advertisements within different communities focusing on efforts to end violence against women and girls. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Limia is also a BIA accredited representative and helps survivors with immigration petitions such as VAWA, UVISA and Battered spouse waiver.  Limia speaks Amharic, Arabic and English.

Emergency and Psychological Preparedness: Supporting Survivors and Ourselves During Crises

Many patients and staff have been affected by the tragic events in Boston. The first thing to remember is that we have a common bond with our clients/patients, because we are all affected in one way or another. The presenter, Dr. Richard Mollica recommends how to prepare for and respond to the emotional and physical effects when working with survivors of torture and trauma.

In addition, the webinar, “Emergency and Psychological Preparedness: Supporting Survivors and Ourselves During Crises” addresses emergency preparedness and how agency staff can assist clients with their physical and psychological needs when an emergency occurs. The presenter has vast experience in responding to similar tragic events, the effects on individuals previously affected by violence, and the best practices in responding to the symptoms of retraumatization.

Richard F. Mollica, M.D., M.A.R. is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC), one of the first clinical programs for refugees in the United States. Over the past two decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture. HPRT/IPC’s clinical model has been replicated throughout the world.

Download a pdf of the slides here

Emergency Preparedness information guide

Community Healing and Support Handout

Group Treatment at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture: Rationale, Processes and Development

The Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT) has been among the leaders at providing supportive and culturally syntonic group interventions for their client base of torture survivors and traumatized refugees for the past 16 years.  One of PSOT’s pioneering group therapists, Dr. Hawthorne Smith, speaks about the rationale behind the initial group interventions at PSOT. He describes some of the techniques and processes that have helped make the group modality one of the more successful methods of service provision at this clinic. He discusses ways in which group participation has facilitated further program involvement by clients in other domains. He also describes the more recent development of a psycho-educational orientation group for newly arrived PSOT clients. A description of challenges and responsibilities for the group leader segues into a discussion of future directions for this promising modality of treatment.

Download a PDF of the slides here

Group Treatment Information Guide

This webinar is the third installment of NPCT’s series on suicidality among refugee populations. You can review the first two webinars for further context: Addressing Mental Health, PTSD, and Suicide in Refugee Communities; and Suicidality Among Refugees. In this webinar we further examine the grief process and how communities can support those experiencing grief by applying skills offered in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings.

This webinar’s objectives are as follows:

  1. Highlight signs, symptoms, and coping mechanisms related to grief
  2. Provide Mental Health First Aid goals and objectives for communities and how refugee populations have been or are expected to benefit
  3. Discuss how trainings, such as MHFA, can raise awareness and educate around grief-related mental health concerns
  4. Explore how refugee community leaders can reduce mental health related stigma

See PowerPoint here.

See a link to the recording here.

Subject Matter Experts

Parangkush (PK) Subedi, M.S., MPH 
Parangkush Subedi is the Health Program Analyst at the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Prior to joining ORR, Mr. Subedi worked at Philadelphia Department of Public Health as a Refugee Health Coordinator from 2012 to 2015, overseeing screening of communicable diseases of newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Before that he worked for over a year at Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in Philadelphia as a Refugee Health Coordinator and Case Manager. Mr. Subedi has published papers on refugee mental health, health seeking behaviors, and tuberculosis over the last three years. He has also written a book chapter for a book titled Refugee Health in Social Setting. Mr. Subedi received a master degree in science from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand in 2006 and another master degree in public health from Emory University, Atlanta in 2011. He is a certified adult mental health first aid instructor.

Azeb Yusuf 
Azeb Yusuf is the Director of the Health and Community Program at the Somali Bantu Community of Greater Houston (SBCGH), which is dedicated to the education and acclimation of refugees and immigrants in the Greater Houston area. Azeb resettled to the United States from Ethiopia, obtained her education through Texas Southern University, and has been an advocate for refugee health care for many years.

In this webinar Dr. Richard Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, discussed how refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers who have experienced extreme violence and torture are now demonstrating serious chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stroke in countries of resettlement. This webinar helps participants to understand how health promotion can help our clients learn what a health curriculum looks like, learn how to educate clients about healthy lifestyles including how to talk with their doctors about their concerns. Key points addressed include: understanding the impact of traumatic life experiences on one’s physical health, understanding that impact within the cultural context, and learning how the promotion of preventative care and healthy lifestyles early on can have a positive impact in the lives of clients.

Richard F. Mollica, M.D., M.A.R. is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC), one of the first clinical programs for refugees in the United States. Over the past two decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture. HPRT/IPC’s clinical model has been replicated throughout the world.

Download a pdf of the slides here.

Download the Health Promotion Information Guide.

Watch Video of Webinar below

Much has been talked about the idea of resiliency and trauma. What exactly is resiliency and self-sufficiency? How do we recognize it, define it, promote it and measure it while working with traumatized individuals and torture survivors?

Kristen Guskovict will discuss what resiliency looks like in trauma survivors, and the personal resources that facilitate it.

Kristen Guskovict is the Director of the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture (FCST), a program of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services. The Florida Center for Survivors of Torture provides intensive case management to survivors to help them heal by reinforcing their resiliency and increasing their self-sufficiency.

For more than 10 years, Kristen has worked with social service programs serving people both within the U.S and in Africa with agencies from Peace Corps to Save the Children. Most recently, she comes to us from the Baltimore, MD headquarters of Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service where she worked as an Assistant Director in the Children’s Services Unit, in a program that provided social workers to undocumented, unaccompanied minors in ORR custody. Kristen holds an M.S. in Global Affairs and Humanitarian Relief from New York University.

Download a pdf of the slides here

Download the Information Guide here

Watch video below.

In this webinar Dr. Richard Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, discussed how there is a deep human reality that lies at the heart of violent experiences that must play a central role in healing and recovery. This webinar will present a toolkit for addressing these life experiences and healing the wounds of mass violence by focusing on the patient’s mental health and physical needs.

Dr. Mollica will discuss the 11 point toolkit which includes diagnosis and treatment, reinforcing self-healing, reducing high risk behaviors and preventing burnout.

Richard F. Mollica, M.D., M.A.R. is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC), one of the first clinical programs for refugees in the United States. Over the past two decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture. HPRT/IPC’s clinical model has been replicated throughout the world.

Download a pdf of the slides here.

Download the Information Guide.

Watch video below

Objectives

  1. Illustrate benefits for refugees to have early mental health screenings and ongoing access to services within integrative healthcare models.
  2. Share how the scoring of the RHS-15 can help providers identify patient history, including torture.
  3. Describe process of creating strong collaborations among physical health and mental health professionals.

See a link to the recording here.

See the powerpoint here.

Subject Matter Experts

Mara Rabin, MD

Dr. Rabin graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine and trained in Family Medicine at the University of Colorado. She conducted Utah’s refugee health screenings for 14 years, cared for over 5000 refugees, and continues to care for many refugees in her current practice. Since 2003, Dr. Rabin has been the Medical Director of Utah Health & Human Rights, a non-profit dedicated to the holistic healing of refugee and immigrant survivors of severe human rights abuses. Dr. Rabin was an invited expert consultant to the Centers for Disease Control’s Refugee Health Screening guidelines and has conducted research on torture prevalence and associated health conditions among Utah’s refugees. She is the co-author of “Torture and Refugees,” a chapter in Refugee Health Care: An Essential Medical Guide. She has spoken locally, nationally, and internationally about the unique health needs of torture survivors. Through the Center for Mind Body Medicine, based in Washington, D.C., Dr. Rabin completed certification in facilitating Mind-Body Skills groups. She has also been recognized by the Utah Refugee Services Office for her “invaluable contribution to improving the health of Utah’s refugees,” by Jewish Family Services for helping “repair the world,” and by the Utah Community Foundation as one of the “Enlightened 50.”

Jan Jenkins, PhD

Jan Jenkins is a clinical psychologist and the Director of the Colorado Refugee Wellness Center. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and is certified in global mental health through the Harvard Trauma and Recovery Program. Dr. Jenkins has worked extensively in the trauma, integrated care, and refugee mental health arenas and has presented at the North American Refugee Health Conference. She has directed several grant-funded projects pertaining to enhancing health equity for refugees, utilization of refugee health navigators to enhance efficacy of healthcare, and development of culturally responsive systems of refugee integrated care. The CO Refugee Wellness Center is a collaboration between primary care and mental health partners: Metro Community Provider Network and Aurora Mental Health Center. It is located in Aurora, CO, one of the most diverse cities of its size in the country and home to the majority of refugees in the state. Metro Community Provider Network, under contract with the Colorado Refugee Services Program, provides medical screenings for newly arriving refugees and Aurora Mental Health Center partners to provide mental health screenings. Ongoing integrated primary and behavioral healthcare is also provided.

Additional Resources

This webinar was the third installment in a four-part series on integrative healthcare settings.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 1 (Webinar) SEE: “Integrative Healthcare Settings: Exploring Approaches and Benefits for Refugees
  • Installment 2 (Post-Webinar Discussion) SEE: “Integrative Healthcare Settings: Addressing Mental Health in Primary Care
  • Installment 4 (Case Study) SEE: “Clinical Approaches in Integrative Healthcare

This webinar sought to explore the barriers faced by refugees in accessing both primary healthcare and mental healthcare services and how best to remove these barriers through an integrative healthcare approach. The webinar further discussed team approaches to best coordinate services for refugees through a culturally competent and trauma-informed approach.

Objectives:

  1. Illustrate how integrative healthcare settings help eliminate barriers, such as transportation and stigma, to accessing mental health care
  2. Describe how refugee community members and leaders can participate as cultural brokers and health navigators
  3. Highlight how resettlement sites and other community partners can support an integrative healthcare approach

See a link to the recording here.

See a link to the PowerPoint.

Subject Matter Experts

Dana Daugherty, MA, EdM
Behavioral Health Coordinator at the Squirrel Hill Health Center

Dana Daugherty began at Squirrel Hill Health Center in September 2016 as the Behavioral Health Coordinator where she leads the administrative side of the Behavioral Health team, supervises the Peer Support Program, and manages behavioral health referrals and outreach to community partners. Previously, she worked as the Program and Outreach Coordinator at the NYC Metro Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-NYC Metro) coordinating their outreach efforts throughout the NYC Metro Area. She also provided mental health counseling in Spanish and English for clients with serious and persistent mental illness at a Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) day program in NYC. Dana’s college senior thesis included researching Ecuador’s domestic violence laws and counseling women with histories of trauma in a women’s prison in Ecuador.

Dana holds a Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Psychological Counseling and Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Mental Health Counseling from Columbia University (Teachers College), and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies from Dartmouth College.

Katie Fitzsimmons, MSW
Manager of Care Navigation at the Squirrel Hill Health Center

Katie is the Manager of Care Navigation at the Squirrel Hill Health Center in Pittsburgh. Katie’s studies focused on Social Work with refugees at Columbia University. She manages a team who provide care navigation for diverse patient populations, including newly arriving refugees and older adults. Katie’s work takes place at the intersection of the medical and social aspects of healthcare, and she strives to fill in the holes of the “Swiss cheese” of healthcare by addressing all of an individual’s needs. To balance the reality of Social Work, Katie enjoys running and baking.

Additional Resources

This webinar was the first installment in a four-part series on integrative healthcare settings.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 2 (Post-Webinar Discussion) SEE: “Integrative Healthcare Settings: Addressing Mental Health in Primary Care
  • Installment 3 (Webinar) SEE: “Integrating Refugee Mental Healthcare: RHS-15 and healthcare providers
  • Installment 4 (Case Study) SEE: “Clinical Approaches in Integrative Healthcare

The Post-Webinar Discussion provided an intimate format for service providers to learn from Dr. Fox’s experience in providing integrative care to refugee populations from the perspective of a physician working in a Federally Qualified Health Center. Dr. Fox emphasized the importance of addressing mental health as part of primary care and that all the staff are part of the behavioral health team. Dr. Fox further discussed the necessity of primary care providers to discuss mental health with patients and the importance of being able to identify somatic symptoms. Finally, she described the importance of interpretation and knowledge of cultural beliefs and traditions, as well as best practices in streamlining services.

The objectives of this Post-Webinar Discussion were to:

  1. Share trauma-informed approaches healthcare providers can use when addressing mental health concerns, such as somaticized symptoms
  2. Describe the best ways to facilitate a mental health referral in an integrative healthcare setting
  3. Explore the ways in which healthcare professionals can be integrated into refugee ongoing healthcare and well-being

See a link to the recording here.

See a link to the powerpoint here.

Subject Matter Expert

Dr. Andrea Fox, M.D., MPH

Dr. Fox is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Boston University School of Medicine. She did a residency in Internal Medicine at the Social Medicine Program at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx where she also completed a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine. She has been a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She focused her work on community-based care of older adults and teaching students about caring for older adults. In 2006 she accepted the position to be the founding Chief Medical Officer of the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a new Federally Qualified Health Center in Pittsburgh. Since that time the Health Center has had significant growth and opened a second site in December 2015. The Health Center has developed expertise in the care of refugees and immigrants with 60% of patients speaking a language other than English. The Health Center provides multi-disciplinary services including primary health care including behavioral health, women’s health services, dental care, care navigation, and house calls.

Additional Resources

This webinar was the second installment in a four-part series on integrative healthcare settings.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 1 (Webinar): “Integrative Healthcare Settings: Exploring Approaches and Benefits for Refugees
  • Installment 3 (Webinar) SEE: “Integrating Refugee Mental Healthcare: RHS-15 and healthcare providers
  • Installment 4 (Case Study) SEE: “Clinical Approaches in Integrative Healthcare

Overview of Needs Assessment and Introduction to Refugee Mental Health

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  1. Discuss needs assessment results and common barriers refugees face when accessing mental health services
  2. Provide an overview of technical assistance activities planned throughout the year
  3. Discuss the importance of addressing mental health among refugee populations for programs of all structures and levels

This webinar is presented by NPCT:

  • Melodie Kinet, Director
  • Isabelle Darling, Clinical Lead
  • Jennifer Lange, Project Coordinator

Download a PDF of the slides here

Click the video below to view the webinar

See the webinar here.

See the PowerPoint presentation here.

Objectives

  1. Provide overview of relevant language access policies, such as the Civil Rights Act Title VI and ACA Section 1557
  2. Identify Medicaid reimbursement implications for direct service staff and healthcare staff
  3. Explore advocacy ideas when working with healthcare organizations

Presenters

Mara Youdelman
Mara Youdelman is the managing attorney in the National Helth Law Program’s (NHeLP) Washington D.C. office. She has worked at NHeLP for more than a decade on issues that include Medicaid, health reform, language access, racial and ethnic disparities, and data collection. Recognized as a national expert on language access in health care settings, Mara has written a number of reports and participated on expert advisory panels on the subject. She is co-author of Ensuring Linguistic Access in Health Care Settings: Legal Rights and Responsibilities and Language Services Resource Guide for Pharmacists. Mara also directed the National Language Access Advocacy Project, funded by the California Endowment to increase awareness of language access issues at the federal level, and served as a Founding Commissioner on the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (www.healthcareinterpretercertification.org). She was named a 2011 Language Access Champion by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care and a 2010 Health Reform Champion by the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education.

Teresita Ramos
Tere Ramos joined the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) as the Language Access attorney in 2015.  She currently focuses her work in ensuring access to justice by limited English proficient (LEP) and Deaf and hard of hearing communities statewide in Massachusetts in all legal areas, including education, healthcare, housing and benefits.  Prior to joining MLRI she was an attorney at the Disability Law Center (DLC) focusing on special education issues related to the Hispanic community across Massachusetts.  Prior to joining DLC, Tere was the Executive Director of Special Education Advocates, a special education and disability advocacy focused on underserved LEP communities.  Tere is the Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Massachusetts Autism Commission’s education sub-committee.

This Case Study continues the conversation started in the webinar How Communities Can Respond to Grief providing a more clinical perspective on addressing grief. The interactive format of the Case Study also provided participants with the opportunity to share the challenges and successes they have had with their own cases with colleagues across the country.

The Case Study’s Objectives were as follows:

  1. Identify what resettlement agencies can do to support refugees in the healing process
  2. Identify specific modalities and techniques utilized by mental health workers when working with refugees to facilitate the healing process
  3. Highlight self-care practices for staff working with grieving client

See a link to the recording here.

See the PowerPoint here.

Subject Matter Expert

Isabelle Darling, LCSW

Isabelle Darling is the contracted Clinical Lead serving as a mental health consultant for the National Partnership for Community Training Program. Isabelle was raised in New York, educated in Massachusetts, and currently resides in North Carolina. Isabelle has worked with refugees, asylum seekers, and survivors of torture for over 15 years. After receiving her BA at Hampshire College where she focused on the racial identity development of African refugees she worked in various roles advocating for communities impacted by trauma. Her passion working with survivors of trauma has brought her across the globe where she assisted behavioral health teams in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, co-organized an international conference on social development in Uganda, and served as a Case Manager, group facilitator, and Interim Director at the refugee resettlement site International Institute of Lowell. Isabelle Darling received her MSW from Simmons College with a specialization in trauma treatment. Her social work education focused on the survivor of torture experience through her work with the Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights at Boston Medical Center. Isabelle Darling is a forever student of those that face violence and choose a path of peace.

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  1. Provide an overview of three different program structures and approaches to providing interpretation
  2. Discuss effective sourcing and training for mental health interpreters
  3. Identify common challenges to identifying and accessing funding interpretation for mental health

Download a PDF of the slides here.

Click the video below to view the webinar.

This presenters for this webinar include:

  • Brent Pace, L.C.S.W.
    Brent Pace is currently the Clinical Director at Utah Health and Human Rights(UHHR); a torture treatment program located in Salt Lake City, UT. Brent provides consultation, training, and outreach to partners and others in the community and supervises the clinical and case management staff at the agency. Prior to joining UHHR, Brent worked as a therapist at the Center for Human Potential, where he continues to do general outpatient therapy part-time. Prior to that, he worked with juveniles who had offended sexually, and directed the Salt Lake Observation and Assessment Program for Utah’s Juvenile Justice Services. He specializes in working with survivors of torture and serious trauma as well as those in recovery from sexual, organizational, and other kinds of abuse. Brent runs mind-body skills groups with certification through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in French from Brigham Young University and his Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. When he’s not working, Brent loves taking photos, reading and writing poetry, watching international and independent films, spending time outdoors, collecting bow ties, and regularly traveling with his husband to France.
  • Dr. Hawthorne Smith, Ph.D.
    Dr. Smith is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. He is also an Assistant Professor at the NYU School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Smith received his doctorate in Counseling Psychology (with distinction) from Teachers College; Columbia University. Dr. Smith had previously earned a B.S.F.S. from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, an advanced certificate in African studies from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, and a Masters in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Smith speaks extensively at professional conferences and seminars on providing clinical services for survivors of sociopolitical violence, and enhancing cross-cultural clinical skills among therapeutic service providers. Dr. Smith was also a co-founding member of Nah We Yone, Inc. (a non-profit organization working primarily with refugees from Sierra Leone, as well as other displaced Africans), and has helped to coordinate the International Youth Leadership Institute (IYLI), a leadership program for New York City teens. Dr. Smith has led these teenagers on summer fellowship programs to diverse countries such as Senegal, Gambia, South Africa, Egypt, and Israel. Dr. Smith is also a professional musician (saxophonist and vocalist) with international experience.
  • Sylvia Acevedo, L.L.M.
    Sylvia is the Program Director overseeing the Florida Center for Survivors of TortureRefugee Resettlement, and VOICES Interpreter and Translation programs operating in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Ms. Acevedo has over 20 years of social service experience devoting the last 13 years of her career to specifically overseeing programs for victims of gender based violence.  She attained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Lynn University and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Intercultural Human Rights from St. Thomas University School of Law.

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  1. Discuss the importance of identifying and addressing refugee mental health issues through screenings
  2. Discuss how to implement effective screening tools in your programs and train staff on using various instruments
  3. Highlight three different programmatic approaches to using screening tools and building referral networks
  4. Address common barriers to streamlining screening results into effective referrals group.

This presenters for this webinar include:

  • Annie G. Bonz is a Mental Health Technical Advisor for U.S. and Global Health programs at IRC. She is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) in New York and a National Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC), with an MA in Art Therapy from New York University. In her current role, she provides technical guidance to IRC staff implementing mental health and psychosocial support programming.  Prior to joining IRC in August 2014, Annie worked with New York area non-profits in the design and implementation of trauma-informed psychotherapeutic services for children and adolescents, including the provision of clinical services for unaccompanied minors from Central America at an ORR shelter in New York.  She also spent nearly a decade in East Africa, serving in multiple leadership roles for refugee processing at the Church World Service Resettlement Support Center in Nairobi.  Her time based in East Africa included travel to refugee camps throughout Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, where she interviewed and provided support to teams interviewing refugees from across the region.  She also served as a Health Educator with Peace Corps (RPCV Kenya).  Throughout her career, Annie has provided technical support and training to field and program staff, integrating clinical and non-clinical programmatic best practices in service to individuals impacted by conflict and displacement.
  • Amber Gray has worked in refugee mental health and torture treatment since 1998. She established New Mexico’s Refugee Mental Health Program in 2007, where she was the Refugee Mental Health Coordinator for seven years. She is now a Clinical Advisor with the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis.  She has consulted and provided clinical training on refugee mental health and torture treatment to more than 30 programs worldwide.  Amber is a frequent speaker on topics related to refugee mental health, torture treatment, and the integration of somatic and arts-based therapies into clinical work with survivors of trauma in cross cultural contexts. She is a co-author “Refugee Mental Health Screening” in the 2014 publication Refugee Health Care : An Essential Medical Guide (Annamalai, A. (ed.)) and has published many articles and chapters on related topics.
  • Sasha Verbillis-Kolp is a clinical social worker with a focus on global mental health, international development and forced migration studies. Recently, she served as the evaluation coordinator for the Pathways to Wellness project where she helped develop the Refugee Health Screener-15 (RHS-15) a mental health screening tool used to detect trauma, depression and anxiety symptoms in refugees. She provides consultation and technical assistance to health sites implementing mental health screening for refugees. She manages a program for psycho-social services for refugees in an outpatient mental health clinic in Portland Oregon. She focuses on community-level interventions for refugees that promote emotional health and well-being, culturally appropriate clinical assessment and treatment planning. She frequently lectures on refugee health disparities, cross-cultural treatment approaches and psycho-social interventions. She is chair of a Task Force for Refugee Emotional Health in the Portland area, and serves as an Oregon representative to the American Association of Refugee Health Coordinators- Refugee Emotional Wellness Work

Download a PDF of the slides here

Click the video below to view the webinar

The connections between community violence abroad and domestic violence in the United States are evident by the experiences of domestic violence that some refugee families experience. This webinar will explore how the violence experienced and witnessed abroad integrates itself into the day-to-day lives of refugees, asylum seekers and torture survivors in the United States. The presenter, Serena Chaudhry, will use a case example to explain how the resettlement process can present increased challenges for the structure and well-being of the family.  At the end of the webinar participants will be able to identify commonly associated symptoms such as depression and anxiety, be introduced to possible interventions and learn how to facilitate a cross-cultural conversation regarding domestic violence.

Serena Chaudhry, LMSW, MPH, RYT has worked with survivors of torture, war trauma, trafficking and domestic violence for more than 15 years both domestically and abroad in; Texas, Maine, New York, Pakistan and Liberia. She has also participated in disaster relief work in El Salvador and on the Gulf Coast Post-Hurricane Katrina. She has worked in collaboration with the International Trauma Studies program housed at Columbia University in New York City, as well as with the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston. She currently provides counseling services in New Orleans, Louisiana and volunteers with Physicians for Human Rights providing psychological evaluations for asylum cases. She integrates traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with more holistic approaches to healing such as meditation, mindfulness, breath work and yoga and has found the latter to be highly effective in cross-cultural sessions. Serena received her Master of Social Work and Public Health from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan in December 2001.

Download a pdf of the slides here

View Video Webinar here

 

This webinar discusses the three dimensional and interrelated health consequences of torture and the immense importance of primary care for survivors of torture and refugee trauma. Dr. Allen Keller discusses how primary care providers will encounter survivors who may present with a variety of medical, psychological and social health needs and concerns.

Download a pdf of the slides here.

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Promoting Resilience and Reducing Risk Factors for Refugee and Immigrant Youth: A Trauma Systems Approach

This webinar explores protective factors and risk factors among refugee youth and families. The presenters, Dr. Molly Benson and Saida Abdi, reviewed research on neurological responses to trauma, outlined the importance of combining ecological and individual approaches to intervention, and explored how stressors at various levels of analysis may impact youth and families. They then shared their experiences using trauma-systems therapy for refugees (TST-R) in their work with refugee youth at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The objectives of this Post-Webinar Discussion were to:

  1. Share Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center’s Core Stressors of refugee youth.
  2. Discuss culturally appropriate, school-based mental health interventions effective for refugee youth.

See a link to the recording here.

See a link to the PowerPoint here.

Subject Matter Experts

Saida Abdi, MSW, LCSW
Saida Abdi, LICSW, MSW., M.A., is the Director of Community Relations, a clinical social worker, and expert in refugee trauma and resilience. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University and another Master’s degree in Communications from Carleton University and is currently pursuing her PhD at Boston University. She is a native of Somalia and a former refugee herself. Ms. Abdi has worked for more than 20 years in the area of refugee youth and families, developing school-based programs to support adjustment of refugee youth in resettlement and community-based research and intervention. For the past 8 years, she has worked at the Boston Children’s Hospital Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center as a part of SAMHSA funded project to develop and implement refugee mental health interventions. She has organized trainings on the issue of promoting resilience and reducing risk behaviors among refugee youth for educators, policy-makers, clinicians and community leaders. She is trained in Trauma System’s Therapy and is an expert in building culturally responsive interventions.

Molly A. Benson, PhD
Dr. Benson is the Associate Director for Refugee Treatment and Services at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She provides oversight, training, supervision, and support for program activities focused on the development and dissemination of treatment interventions and resources for refugee children and families. She is licensed clinical psychologist who has experience providing evaluation and treatment to children and adolescents, including those who are refugees and youth seeking asylum in US. For several years she provided clinical services and supervision through the Psychosocial Treatment Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and currently she maintains a small private practice.

Additional Resources

This webinar was the second installment in a two-part series on refugee youth and families.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 1 (Webinar) SEE: “Resilience among Refugee Youth and Families
Refugees face many stressors adjusting to life in a new country. This webinar will focus on reducing the stigma around mental health issues from providers and within refugee communities by leveraging refugee community leaders to engage with providers and relevant agencies.

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  1. Discuss strategies for reducing mental health stigma within refugee communities
  2. Discuss strategies for reducing mental health stigma by providers
  3. Understand the benefits of establishing partnerships between community leaders and mental health clinics
  4. Understand the benefits of performing outreach to state and health coordinators, as well as to agencies, to advocate for refugee mental health issues

This webinar is presented by:

  • 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.

This webinar explores the concept of resilience, including environmental influences on resilience and methods of building resilience among refugee youth and families.

Webinar Objectives

  1. Define resilience as it relates to refugee youth and their families.
  2. Describe community-based and family-based clinical interventions for refugee youth and families.
  3. Share how to incorporate resilience-based activities into overall treatment of refugee youth and families.

PDF of the presentation slides here

Link to the video here.

Suzan Song, MD, MPH, PhD
Suzan J. Song is the Director of the Division of Child/Adolescent & Family Psychiatry and Associate Professor at George Washington University Medical Center. She recently moved from the Bay Area, where she was medical director of an intensive foster care clinic and a survivors of torture community-based clinic, and has been a humanitarian protection advisor in war-affected countries for 8 years. She is a former White House APIA fellow and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative fellow, with training from Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Amsterdam. Her work integrates clinical practice, policy, and research through commissioned projects for the United Nations and has worked in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, KwaZulu/Natal, Haiti, and Burundi with current work in Syria/Jordan and the DR Congo. She has grants funded by the Department of Defense and Grand Challenges Canada, as well as commissioned projects for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and is focused on family-centered resiliency processes for survivors of extreme trauma.

Additional Resources

This webinar was the first installment in a two-part series on refugee youth and families.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

  • Installment 2 (Post-Webinar Discussion) SEE: “Promoting Resilience and Reducing Risk Factors for Refugee and Immigrant Youth: A Trauma Systems Approach

This Webinar gives a background of sexualized violence as a form of torture and the significant impact and consequences of this type of violence on survivors. The great challenges survivors of this type of violence face are offered as well as treatment options and considerations.

Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith, Ph.D., a Program Psychologist at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, she discusses the prevalence, methods, and consequences of sexualized violence as well as therapeutic treatments and interventions.  This presentation is intended for clinicians who work with forced migrants who have experienced sexual violence as a result of torture or conflict.

Click here to listen to this webinar.

Download a pdf of the slides here.

Download the Sexual Violence Information Guide

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.

“DR Congo – Levels of Conflict” presented by author and Amnesty International DRC country expert, Dr. Thomas Turner assists those working with the Congolese to sort out the multitude of conflicting claims surrounding the DRC. Participants gain knowledge of the political and social history of DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya.

“Working with Refugees from the DRC” presented by Associate Director for Resettlement and Integration at Church World Service, Sandra Vines gives participants a greater understanding of general resettlement related specifically to the Congolese. Participants are able to identify challenges impacting behavioral health and three ways in which they can adjust their daily practice in order to maximize services to the Congolese.

“Rien n’ est facile, mais tout est possible:” psychological treatment with Congolese survivors of torture presented by Clinical Director at Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, Dr. Hawthorne Smith  provides information on the profound emotional challenges associated with the multiple traumas and ongoing displacement experienced by Congolese refugees, as well as explores and highlights some effective approaches and interventions geared toward facilitating healing, connection and self-sufficiency. Participants learn assessment, interpersonal engagement, as well as trauma-informed and culturally relevant service provision.

See below to view the webinar

Download a PDF of the slides here.

Download the Information Guide here.

  *  Refugees International  
**Office of Refugee Resettlement 

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:

  1. introduce the theories and model pertaining to substance abuse
  2. offer guidance in identifying, diagnosing, referring, and treating substance abuse within the refugee and torture survivor community
  3. address the apprehension of some social service providers in addressing substance abuse
  4. address the stigma and cultural norms associated with substance abuse
  5. 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.

Eric F. Wagner, Ph.D. is the Director of Florida International University’s (FIU) Community Based Intervention Research Group (C-BIRG), and a Professor in FIU’s Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University.

Dr. Wagner is an internationally-recognized expert on brief interventions for alcohol and drug users, with a particular emphasis on minority and immigrant populations. His community-based clinical research has been sponsored by the National Institute on Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Techologia. He has served as an expert for the United Nations, the United States Department of Education (ED), the White House Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on addressing adolescent substance use problems. Dr. Wagner has partnered with public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward County, with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and with the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and others in conducting his research.

Richard F. Mollica, M.D., M.A.R. is the Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School.

In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC), one of the first clinical programs for refugees in the United States. Over the past three decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of mass violence and torture. HPRT/IPC’s clinical model has been replicated throughout the world.

See the webinar here.

See the powerpoint presentation here.

Objectives

  1. Discuss research conducted on refugee suicides and subsequent recommendations for stakeholders
  2. Highlight current grass roots initiatives addressing suicide prevention and intervention with refugee communities
  3. Identify common mental health perceptions within refugee populations and suggestions for improved program responses to suicidality

Presenters

Sharmila Shetty, M.D.
Dr. Sharmila Shetty currently works as a medical epidemiologist in the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Dr. Shetty completed her medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and after completing her residency in Pediatrics at North Shore University Hospital in NY, she worked with refugees and internally displaced populations as a clinician with Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) in Lebanon, Uganda, and Sudan. She completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Fellowship in applied epidemiology at the CDC from 2002-2004, after which she then spent a year doing post-tsunami recovery work in Banda Aceh, Indonesia with the Red Cross. From 2009-2014, Dr. Shetty worked as a medical epidemiologist in the Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch at the CDC, during which time she was a co-principal investigator on an investigation into suicides among Bhutanese refugees in the US.

Chhabi Sharma, MBBS
Dr Chhabi Sharma is originally from Gaylegphug Bhutan. He has worked in Bhutan as the District Medical Officer. After he became a refugee, Dr. Sharma worked for eight years with UNHCR in Nepal, caring for Bhutanese Nepali refugees. He completed his psychiatry residency at Hennepin-Regions Psychiatry Program Minnesota in 2011, where he served as Chief Resident in Psychiatry. He is currently a Board Certified psychiatrist working at HealthPartners, and spends part of his clinical time at HealthPartners Center for International Health. Dr. Sharma has recently  been appointed by the University of Minnesota, Global Health Program as the Nepal Site Coordinator for Global Health Faculty.

Henny Ohr
Henny Ohr is Co-Founder and Executive Director of EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center), a community led grassroots organization dedicated to supporting refugees from Burma resettled in Iowa.  Prior to joining EMBARC, she was the Executive Officer for the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs and the Status of Women at the Dept. of Human Rights, where she advocated for equitable access to resources for marginalized communities.  Ms. Ohr immigrated to the US from Korea as a child, and has been committed to working for immigrant and refugee rights throughout her career.  Ms. Ohr received her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.

This Webinar focuses on learning a simple culture base and scientific techniques for listening to and using the trauma story therapeutically in all social services and health care settings. Dr. Richard Mollica outlines the scientific basis of the therapeutic power of personal disclosure and the trauma narrative. Offered is a simple approach to listening to and using the trauma story in all social service and health services while learning the therapeutic power of self-healing and the survivor as a teacher framework.

Drawing from Dr. Richard Mollica’s more than thirty years of experience, the Webinar reviews the four main elements of the personal narrative: the factual accounting of events, understanding the cultural meanings of trauma, helping a survivor reach deep insights and reframe the trauma experience, and the fundamental importance of the listener/storyteller relationship.

Richard F. Mollica, M.D., M.A.R. is the Director of the Harvard Program for Refugee Trauma (HPRT) of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico and completed his Psychiatry residency at Yale Medical School. While at Yale he also trained in epidemiology and received a philosophy degree from the Divinity School. In 1981, Dr. Mollica co-founded the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC), one of the first clinical programs for refuges in the United States. Over the past two decades HPRT and IPC have pioneered the mental health care of survivors of mass violence and torture. HPRT/IPC’s clinical model has been replicated throughout the world.

View a pdf of the slides here.

Watch Video below

If you are having trouble viewing the video please click here.

Spirituality and faith can be leveraged to increase mental health for survivors of torture, displacement, immigration and other traumatic experiences by assisting in the process of rebuilding one’s sense of self through strengthening self-capacities, such as managing feelings, positive inner connections, and felling worthy of life. This webinar provides a broad overview of the role of spirituality and faith in recovery from trauma, and in fostering mental health.

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  1. Effectively convey the importance of faith communities in health and recovery for refugees, immigrants, torture survivors, and others who have experienced trauma
  2. Connect spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and ritual to healing and community-building
  3. Equip providers with knowledge and tools useful in leveraging faith communities in the service of reaching out to torture survivors
  4. Embed best and promising practices for working with survivors of torture in the context of connecting with faith communities

This webinar is presented by Elizabeth Power, M. Ed., an internationally known and respected facilitator in the world of creating communities that are trauma-informed and trauma-responsive. She speaks from the voice of lived experience with trauma. Her firm, EPower & Associates, is an authorized provider of Sidran Institute’s Risking Connection® curriculum, which she presented to over 300 organizations and faith communities in the last ten years. Additionally, she has provided services for a five year SAMHSA grant promoting the transformation to trauma-informed care in King County Washington’s mental health service delivery system, developed the Trauma-Responsive Systems Implementation Advisor (TReSIA) model, delivered training to traditional people in Hawaii and Navajoland, and provided support for the development of programs working with indigenous people.

Click the slide below to view the webinar

Download a PDF of the slides here

View the webinar: Trauma, Spirituality, and Faith: An Overview of the Interplay as Survivors Risk Connection and Recovery

In this webinar, Dr. Porterfield will discuss the effects of war trauma and violence on refugee children and their families and how service providers can assess and intervene with these families.

This webinar will use a case presentation of a traumatized refugee family from Kosovo to illustrate basic principles of assessment and intervention for those who work directly with refugee families.

Dr. Porterfield was a postdoctoral fellow at the NYU Child Study Center. In her work at Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture since 1999, Dr. Porterfield provides individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and adults and supervises trainees working with survivors of torture.

Dr. Porterfield has worked as a clinical evaluator on several cases of young people held in detention at Guantanamo Bay and frequently consults with attorneys handling cases involving torture and maltreatment. She has also presented extensively in the New York area and nationally on topics such as the effects of war and refugee trauma on children, clinical work with traumatized refugee families, and the psychological effects of torture. Dr. Porterfield is the Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children Residing in the United States.

Download a pdf of the slides here.

Download the Youth-Information-Guide.

Watch Video below

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. Through the use of case examples from the field, this webinar will address how to provide and fully utilize interpretation, modes and styles of interpretation, best practices and challenges.

Participants will gain skills in:

  1. Conducting effective, culturally-informed, and trauma-informed services through interpretation
  2. Identifying and addressing challenges related to interpretation
  3. Training interpreters and care providers in use of interpretation

The objectives of this webinar are to:

  1. Enhance provision of services to traumatized refugees of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  2. Increase awareness, knowledge and skills of service providers working with traumatized refugees
  3. Offer strategies for more effective communication when using interpreters
  4. Offer participants best and promising practices for working with torture survivors

This webinar is presented by Nancy Murakami, LCSW, the director of social services at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT), a comprehensive torture treatment center in New York City addressing the complex needs of torture survivors. She received her M.A. in social work from Columbia University, with a concentration in international social welfare and program development and evaluation. She received specialized clinical training in therapeutic methods of addressing the impact of psychological trauma on children, adults and families while at the Anti-Trafficking Program and Counseling Center of Safe Horizon, a New York City advocacy and assistance agency for victims of crime and abuse. Prior to joining PSOT, Nancy was the director of counseling training for the non-profit organization Burma Border Projects, based on the Thai-Burma border at Dr. Cynthia Maung’s Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand. She provided clinical and administrative training and supervision, program and resource development, and capacity-building to Mae Tao Clinic as well as other community based organizations providing services to the displaced Burmese communities inside Burma and in Thailand. Nancy currently serves on the board of directors for Burma Border Projects. Prior to becoming a licensed clinical social worker, Nancy taught secondary school and led health and gender-based initiatives as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural communities in Malawi, Africa.

Click the slide below to view the webinar

Download a PDF of the slides here

Download the Information Guide: Working with Interpreters: Service Provision with Torture Survivors

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 of this webinar is Kristen Towhill, LCSW, 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

Funding Provided by the Following

Refugee Services National Partnership for Community Training

Resources provided by the National Partnership for Community Training

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