Immigration and Mental Health

Rachel Reed, MA

The United States has almost 40 million immigrants – the largest number in its history. Shifts in demographics, along with economic and political crises, make immigration an often divisive social and political issue.

While public discourse often frames immigration as a social problem, research supports the strength and resilience of immigrants. Despite their resilience, immigrants face a myriad of challenges that can adversely affect their mental health. These realities underscore the need for competencies that will enable mental health professionals and social service providers to work effectively and respectfully with immigrant clients. This training will examine the complex mental health needs of immigrants, with special attention to the integral role of culture in concepts of wellness, symptom presentation, and help-seeking behavior. Set within the context of cultural competence, this training will address clinical considerations in working with this population, providing learning opportunities to apply concepts.


  • Identify some of the challenges frequently encountered by immigrant clients and their potential influence on mental health.
  • Develop an understanding of how culture can influence symptom presentation and help-seeking behavior.
  • Acquire an understanding of the stages of immigration and acculturation and how one’s experiences of these stages can affect mental health.
  • Examine the tenets of cultural competence and how this paradigm is useful in providing effective and respectful mental health care.

The Rutherford Room at Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road, Teaneck, NJ

Date: Friday, March 22, 2013              Time: 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m.


9:00 – 9:30a.m.                   Registration and coffee/tea service
9:30 – 10:15                        Welcome and Introduction; Guiding Frameworks
10:15 – 10:30                      The Why and Who of Immigration
10:30 – 11:00                      Reception of the Immigrant
11:00 – 11:15                      Morning Break
11:15 – 12:00p.m.               Adaptation
12:00 – 1:00                        Lunch break. Lunch will be provided.
1:00 – 1:30                          Mental Health and Culture
1:30 – 2:15                         Groups Facing Unique Challenges
2:15 – 2:30                         Afternoon Break
2:30 – 4:00                         Clinical Considerations

Target Audience: Mental Health Administrators, Clinicians, Self-Help Center Managers/Facilitators, Screeners, Case Managers. This is a moderate level training.

CEUs: Social workers will receive 5.5 CEUs in clinical or cultural competence. Family Connections, provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB),, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program.

In accordance with ASWB guidelines, all participants must sign-in and sign-out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEUs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early.

Directions and Parking Information: Please visit: Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

Facilities: If you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Niki DeVonish, Training Coordinator, at 973-323-3454.

Registration: Priority & free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health agencies and self-help centers until March 8, 2013. After March 8th, public registrations will be accepted based on space availability for a $25 fee. To register for this training, click here.

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