|Reach Out, You May Save a Life
Whether you are a community member, resettlement professional, or spiritual leader, everyone who works with refugees has a role in suicide prevention. Building social connections with refugees can decrease their isolation and thus risk for suicide. Ways to build connection include holding a community gathering or staying in touch with a refugee to show you care. The stigma surrounding suicide often leads to silence; but speaking openly about the issue can be a powerful intervention. Asking how someone is doing and, if you are concerned about suicide, asking specifically whether that person has thoughts of killing him or herself can demonstrate caring and help identify those who could benefit from mental health services. If someone indicates they are considering suicide, giving a sense of hope and working to connect the person to mental health services is critical.
RHTAC Refugee Suicide Prevention Training Toolkit is a curriculum designed to help suicide prevention trainers teach anyone who works with refugees these suicide prevention strategies. The toolkit contains role plays based on common resettlement challenges so training participants can practice asking about suicidal thoughts and offer hope under guidance from a suicide prevention trainer. Worksheets in the toolkit can be used by trainers to help participants generate a list of social supports that take into account refugees' resiliency and their community's strengths.
Download the free Toolkit and host a training >
In the Literature
Interpersonal-psychological precursors to suicidal behavior: A theory of attempted and completed suicide. Van Orden KA, Merrill KA, Joiner Jr. TE. Current Psychiatry Reviews. 2005; 1, 187-196.
Who am I? Assessment of psychosocial needs and suicide risk factors among Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and after third country resettlement. Schinina G, Sharma S, Gorbacheva O, Mishra AK. International Organization for Migration. 2010.
Group therapy for refugees and torture survivors: Treatment model innovations. Kira IA, Ahmed A, Wasim F, Mahmoud V, Colrain J, Rai D. Int J Group Psychother. 2012; 62(1):69-88.
Mental health of displaced and refugee children resettled in high-income countries: Risk and protective factors. Fazel M, Reed RV, Panter-Brick C, Stein A. Lancet. 2012; 379(9812):266-282.
Cultural background and socioeconomic influence of immigrant and refugee women coping with postpartum depression. O'Mahony JM, Donnelly TT, Raffin Bouchal S, Este D. J Immigr Minor Health. 2012.
|More Ways to Get Your Refugee Health News
Visit the RHTAC website to check out Refugee Health Updates, your central hub for refugee health news, events, funding opportunities, and resources. To have refugee health updates sent to you, subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on Twitter @RefugeeHealthTA.
|Announcing Refugee Health Division at ORR|
Two years ago, ORR established health and mental health services as one of its key guiding principles for effective resettlement. Since then ORR has taken several steps to promote refugee health, including creating the Office's first ever Division of Refugee Health. This new Division brings together ORR's different health-related activities under one umbrella and builds partnerships with agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to create health-oriented programs for refugees.
Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting, intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility, and submissiveness to God. Ramadan celebration in North America is July 20 - August 19, 2012. During the celebration a fast, held from sunrise to sunset, is carried out by observing Muslims. In the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so Ramadan celebration will begin on the sunset of July 19, 2012.
Based on the Quran, those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are pregnant or nursing are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. Muslim patients may still choose to fast because, to most, Ramadan is believed to be the most blessed and spiritually beneficial month of the Islamic year.
Extensive resources for clinicians working with refugees who observe this holiday can be found on EthnoMed.
Affordable Care Act & Refugee Health
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes measures specifically related to the expansion of access to mental health services. Starting immediately, people who have not been able to access health insurance due to a pre-existing mental health condition can apply to receive insurance through the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), which covers mental health services.
Starting in 2014, the ACA will:
- Expand Medicaid to new populations and require mental health and substance use disorder services to be part of the Essential Benefits Package, a set of health care service categories that must be covered by Medicaid.
- Require the Essential Benefits Package to be included in all policies that participate in Health Insurance Exchanges, further expanding access to mental health services.
- Prevent insurers from denying coverage or raising insurance premiums based on pre-existing conditions, including mental illness and substance abuse.
- Expand access to mental health services by enhancing community-based service options, supporting school-based health centers, and driving the creation of health homes for individuals with chronic health conditions, including mental illness and substance use disorders.
In the News:
|North American Refugee Healthcare Conference Highlights
More than 450 refugee-serving providers attended the North American Refugee Healthcare Conference held on June 28-30, 2012.
Conference highlights include:
Mark your calendar for the next North American Refugee Health Conference to be held on June 6-8, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. Learn more >
- Keynote speeches from Martin Cetron, MD, Director of CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine and from Eskinder Negash, Director of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement
- Over 45 poster presentations on refugee health-related research and programs
- Seminars led by representatives from U.S. federal agencies, UNHCR, resettlement agencies, academic institutions, and state public health departments. View archived seminar presentations >
- Advance screening of "American Heart", a documentary film that follows three resettled refugee families as they access health care in the U.S.
|Upcoming RHTAC Webinars
Refugees and Medicaid: Strategies for Increasing Eligible Refugees' Enrollment in Medicaid - Now and in 2014
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | 12:30-2:00pm EDT
Details: This is the second in a series of webinars designed to help the national refugee resettlement network facilitate refugees' access to long-term, quality, and affordable health care.
Register now >
Refugee Women's Health: Reproductive Health and Family Planning
Thursday, September 13, 2012 | 12:00-1:30pm EDT
Details: This clinician-focused webinar will present an overview of refugee women's health and challenges faced by healthcare professionals in providing culturally competent reproductive health care and family planning.
Register now >
|Upcoming Events & Trainings
Healthy Living: Promoting Health and Safety in Immigrant Communities Webinar
July 24, 2012, 4:00 PM EST
Presented by: Cities of Migration
July 25 - 26, 2012, Washington, DC
Presented by: U.S. Department of State
Office of Refugee Resettlement 2012 National Consultation
September 19-20, 2012, Arlington, VA
Presented by: U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement
National Immigrant Integration Conference
September 22-25, 2012, Baltimore, MD
Presented by: The National Partnership for New Americans
2012 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations
October 18-19, 2012, Chicago, IL
Presented by: Adult Learning Resource Center
The Eighth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations
March 11-14, 2013, Oakland, CA
Presented by: DiversityRx
View more events >
|Funding Opportunities |
Bhutanese Refugee Health Profile
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Health profile provides information about Bhutanese refugees' medical screening, diet, and other health related topics.
Cultural profile provides information about Iraqi refugees' U.S. health care experiences and their health-related beliefs.
Ramadan Reminder for Health Care Practitioners
Tips for health care providers caring for Muslim patients who fast during Ramadan. Discusses implications for patients who may be pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, or taking medications.
Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration
Report summarizing worldwide survey of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) caring for LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers.
View more resources >
Promising Practices in Domestic Health Orientation
July 11, 2012
Making CLAS Happen
June 20, 2012
Refugee Mental Health Screening: Operationalizing the RHS-15
May 23, 2012
Infectious Disease Challenges in Refugees and Immigrants
May 9, 2012
Addressing the Language Access Barrier When Serving Refugee Patients
March 28, 2012
Strong Roots and Bright Futures: Promoting Successful Adjustment for Refugee Youth
February 8, 2012
Adapting QPR Training to Incorporate Refugee Experiences
January 31, 2012
Tools and Strategies for Refugee Mental Health Screening: Introducing the RHS-15
January 25, 2012
Refugee Health Orientation Continuum: Overseas and Domestic Perspectives
December 5, 2011
Clinical Care to Refugees with HIV Infection
November 30, 2011
Domestic Refugee Health Screening Models and Clinical Guidelines
October 26, 2011
Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Refugees in Primary Care Settings
July 27, 2011
HIV and Refugee Resettlement
June 23, 2011
Suicide Among Refugees: Understanding the Social and Cultural Context for Prevention Strategies
May 17, 2011
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