What We Do
Immigrants and Refugees’ backgrounds may vary based on their country and region of origin, but at some point, they share same experience of having to leave their home counties, and most of the time unable to return due safety concerns. Prior to leaving their homes, refugees may be exposed to undiagnosed diseases, due to poor healthcare system, poverty, and may be targeted for violence, resulting in physical and psychic complex trauma. Many refugees, especially children, have experienced trauma related to war or persecution that may affect their mental and physical health long after the events have occurred. These traumatic events may occur while the refugees are in their country of origin, during displacement from their country of origin, or in the resettlement process in their new country. While in their country of origin, refugee children may have experienced traumatic events or hardships including: Violence (as witnesses, victims, and/or perpetrators), war, lack of food, water and shelter, physical injuries, infections and diseases, torture, forced labor, sexual assault, lack of medical care, loss of loved ones, disruption in or lack of access to schooling.
During displacement, refugee children often face many of the same types of traumatic events or hardships that they faced in their country of origin, as well as new experiences such as: Living in refugee camps, separation from family, loss of community, uncertainty about the future, harassment by local authorities, traveling long distances by foot, detention fears and frustrations. We take a holistic approach to health that incorporates physical, mental, and social well-being – an approach likely to resonate with most refugees’ world views. Despite being at increased risk for some health problems, refugees frequently encounter barriers to health and mental health care in their new countries. Through our wellness program we assist immigrant and refugee families to overcome those barriers by providing support and navigating resources and that best serve their needs.