In response to the growing humanitarian crisis of an unprecedented 63.5 million people being displaced worldwide, a pro bono initiative established by several APA divisions developed the Refugee Mental Health Resource Network to offer agencies and organizations working with refugees a comprehensive list of psychologists and other mental health professionals worldwide who are available to volunteer their services to asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and internally displaced individuals (IDPs).
The APA divisions involved in the effort are Divs. 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women), 52 (International), 55 (American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy) and 56 (Trauma).
Elizabeth Carll, PhD, president of Div. 56 and chair of the interdivisional APA Refugee Mental Health Resource Network, invites other APA divisions and state and regional psychological associations to join this initiative and collaborate on ways to support the mental health needs of refugees, migrants and IDPs. Carll, who has seen "considerable interest" in the database and has received many requests for training on working with refugees, sees this work as an emerging area of specialization for psychologists.
The APA Refugee Mental Health Resource Network also offers a series of free skill-building webinars on how psychologists can provide assistance to refugees and asylum seekers. The first two webinars are on "Screening and Intervening with Refugees: Understanding Trauma and the Mental Health Needs" and "Conducting Asylum Evaluations." These are available at the Div. 56 website. More webinars will be offered throughout the year to volunteers.
For information or to volunteer, contact Elizabeth Carll, PhD.
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