About the Network
Mental health/psychosocial support for refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of torture have become increasingly important as necessary components of programs that are serving these populations. In addition, world and national crises have impacted immigrants seeking asylum and refugee resettlement. The U.S. has been one of the largest host countries accepting refugees until recently when government policies changed and limited the number of refugees entering the U.S. There is a significant need for asylum evaluations and other related evaluations and support services.
There are increasing needs for a wide range of services and often the demand far exceeds the supply of mental health professionals. To help meet these needs, the development of a Refugee and Mental Health Resource Network was created to develop an interactive database of volunteer psychologists and mental health professionals, within the US and globally, to help fill the need for evaluations, psychosocial support services, training, and staff support. As a result, Division 56 and cosponsoring Divisions 35, 52, and 55 obtained a CODAPAR grant from APA to subsidize this project, in part.
The names of psychologists and mental health professionals interested in volunteering are being collected to help support services to agencies and organizations serving refugees, immigrants and internally displaced people (IDPs). Some volunteers have experience working with refugees, others have trauma experience, while some are new to working with these populations.
There has been significant interest from students who would like to receive training and volunteer to be able to help in some way. Also included are psychologists who are interested in conducting research with refugees, immigrants and internally displaced people (IDPs).
Non-profit organizations that provide services for these populations will be provided the opportunity to search the Network Database for the volunteers they need.
To begin to meet the demand for training, 10 free webinars have been developed and provided since 2017 addressing various aspects of services for refugees including asylum evaluations. These webinars will be available for volunteers and additional webinars are in the planning. The interactive database is now open for volunteers to enter their information.
Please contact us for any further information. We look forward to your participation in this timely pro-bono humanitarian project.
Elizabeth Carll, PhD, Chair
Refugee Mental Health Resource Network