This is the story of how hard work, experience and loving hearts help refugee populations achieve greater mental wellness and stability as they find new homes in Chicago. Refugees carry pre and post migration stress and experience traumas both before and after their arrivals. Fortunately talented professional counselors, clinicians and clinical managers are uniquely trained to administer therapies and related services to these communities. We visit with two professionals working on the ground with these populations: Guylaine Herzig, Clinical Counselor, Refugee & Immigrant Community Services (RICS) at the Heartland Alliance; and Amy Dix, Clinical Manager at Heartland Alliance Refugee Health Program. Discussion includes conditions which are not new to any mental health community, but made more complex by challenges within the refugee experience. These include duality, PTSD, Acculturative Stress, Demoralization and the impact of "othering." However dark these concepts seem, know that this is a story made hopeful by the application of humanity, healing sciences, expressive and narrative therapies.
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