About the Network
Mental health and psychosocial support for refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of torture are increasingly necessary components of programs 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 to limit the number of refugees entering the country. There is a significant need for asylum evaluations and other related evaluations and support services.
The increasing demand for wide-ranging services often far exceeds the supply of mental health professionals. The Refugee Mental Health Resource Network was founded to help meet this demand. The interactive database of volunteer psychologists and mental health professionals composes a professional community within the U.S. and globally, helping fill the need for evaluations, psychosocial support services, training, and staff support. Division 56 and co-sponsoring Divisions 35, 52, and 55 have obtained a CODAPAR grant from the American Psychological Association (APA) to partly subsidize the project.
The names of psychologists and mental health professionals interested in volunteering are being collected to support services to agencies and organizations serving refugees, migrants and internally displaced people (IDPs). Some volunteers have experience working with refugees, some have trauma experience, while others are new to working with these populations. Students have shown significant interest in receiving training to volunteer. Also included are psychologists interested in conducting research with refugees, migrants, and IDPs.
Non-profit organizations that provide services for these populations will be able to search the database for the volunteers they require.
To begin meeting the demand for training, 14 free webinars were developed and provided since 2017, addressing various aspects of services for refugees, including asylum evaluations. These webinars will be made available to volunteers with additional webinars in development. The interactive database is now open to submissions by volunteers.
Requests for further information can be made via our Contact page. We welcome your participation in this timely pro-bono humanitarian project.
Refugee Mental Health Resource Network
Appreciation to the University of West Georgia for previous technical support of the database and website.