Many refugees in Minnesota are experiencing mental health difficulties. Accessing help for these individuals in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota is difficult, despite an abundance of mental health professionals. To appropriately serve refugee populations, Mental health providers need to develop:
·Familiarity with best practices for providing psychotherapy to clients of non-American cultures in order to modify practices to provide appropriate interventions;
·Understanding of the refugee process, experience, and what resource refugees are provided to refugees upon arrival;
·Comfort to work with spoken language interpreters (as is required by Federal mandate) and knowledge of how to access interpreters through health plans;
· Network of peers also serving refugees to sustain them through feeling intimidated, uncomfortable, or unconfident performing this work.
MCC Refugee Services is a refugee resettlement agency that, through a Federal Grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has taken a leadership role to provide training and support to mental health providers to meet the mental health needs of refugees.
In consultation with local mental health professionals who have expertise in cross-cultural care, MCC Refugee Services is offering 5 continuing education trainings (3 full days of generalized training and two half-days of specialty trainings) for clinicians. These trainings address questions and issues related to culturally competent mental health care for refugees. These trainings are not academic trainings. They are designed as experiential trainings and place clinicians in interaction with refugee participants and current cases.
MCC Refugee services will be making client referrals to those who participate in these trainings, and demonstrate competence. We will also provide access to ongoing (free!) case consultation and other continuing education opportunities.
Continuing education credits have been requested from the Boards of Psychology, Social Work, Behavioral Health and Marriage and Family Therapy.
For more information, contact Rachele King, Director of Refugee Services of the Minnesota Council of Churches (612.230.3216) or visit www.mnchurches.org\refugeeservices.