Refugee Mental Health Resource Network Database Report An APA Interdivisional Project

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Elizabeth Carll, PhD, Chair

The surge in crisis-affected migrants seeking asylum and refugee resettlement globally has demonstrated the increased need for mental health/psychosocial support.  When the Refugee Mental Health Resource Network (RMHRN) and Database began development in 2016, we did not anticipate the great numbers of refugees that would be seeking asylum. This project began with an APA CODAPAR grant approved for 2017 and included Divisions 56, 35, 52, and 55, with other Divisions and state associations having joined as collaborators.

Currently, there are more than 550 volunteers in the database, which include licensed psychologists and mental health professionals, students interested in the training provided and psychologists interested in conducting research. If you are interested in volunteering to provide pro-bono services to refugee and immigrant children, adults, and families, please go to www.refugeementalhealthnet.orgto join the Network.

To help prepare psychologists and mental health professionals to work with refugees, immigrants, and internally displaced people (IDPs), the Refugee Mental Health Resource Network has been developing a series of webinars. The RMHRN 11 webinars to date are listed below and others are being planned. Divison 56 Home Study CE has been approved by APA, which will enable webinars to be viewed on demand, in addition to live.  The Division 56 Webinar Committee, chaired by George Rhoades, is finalizing the software to implement the home study.  Home Study CE will be available for all Division 56 webinars.

The Refugee Mental Health Resource Network Webinars offered between February 2017 and February 2019 are listed below and will soon be available on Home Study with APA CE .

  • Screening and Intervening with Refugees; Understanding Trauma and the Mental Health Needs
  • Conducting Asylum Evaluations
  • Working with Interpreters with Refugee Populations in Healthcare Settings and for Asylum Evaluations
  • Asylum Evaluations Continued: A More In-Depth Look at Evaluating Special Populations
  • The Refugee Crisis: Understanding and Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Families and Children Displaced by Armed Conflict
  • Beyond Asylum Evaluations: Conducting Immigration Evaluations for Cancelation of Deportation, Hardship Waivers, and Waivers from Taking the U.S. Citizenship Exam
  • An Attorney’s Perspective: Best Practices for Collaborating with Attorneys in Support of Immigrant Clients:  Writing Effective Medical-Legal Affidavits; Testifying in Court and Understanding Asylum Law
  • Vicarious Traumatization, Stress, and Psychological Resilience:  Working with Refugee, Immigrant, and Internally Displaced Populations
  • Understanding Differences Between Clinical Trauma Evaluations and Asylum Evaluations for Refugee and Immigration Requests
  • Documenting, Report Writing and Expert Testimony in Asylum Cases: How to Effectively Integrate Information.
  • What Happens When Someone is Deported? The Psychosocial Aftermath Experienced by those Deported

The webinars were developed in consultation with the Refugee Mental Health Resource Network Steering Committee. Since this is a multi-year initiative, the following names of the Steering Committee Members both current and former members since January 2017 to the present include:  Chair, Dr.Elizabeth Carll; Members, Claudia Antuña;Carl Auerbach; Vivian Ballah-Swaray; Jean Lau Chin;Betsy Gard; Brigitte Khoury; Elaine LeVine; Diana Prescott; George Rhoades.