2007 - 2011

Project Directors: Michelle Porche, Ed.D. and Lisa Fortuna, MD, MPH
Funders: National Child Traumatic Stress Network;
New Hampshire Endowment for Health
Dartmouth University Project for Adolescent Trauma Treatment (PATT);
Wellesley Centers for Women;
University of Massachusetts Medical School

The project involves a needs assessment of child and adolescent refugee mental health services in New Hampshire and utilizes community dialogue strategies for integrating youth, family, provider, school and community knowledge and expertise towards addressing refugee mental health needs especially as it relates to trauma and in the context of resettlement.

 

The project involves a needs assessment of child and adolescent refugee mental health services in New Hampshire. The pilot utilized community dialogue strategies for integrating youth, family, provider, school and community knowledge and expertise towards addressing refugee mental health needs especially as it relates to trauma and in the context of resettlement. Youth and their families are seen at the center of this dialogue as critical informants and participants in intervention planning.

 

The primary objective of this project is to create trauma informed systems within New Hampshire by strengthening awareness of treatment gaps, the intersection of resettlement, immigration, culture and trauma and making informed decisions about necessary next steps for better addressing traumatic stress among resettled refugee youth. The specific aims of the pilot are to:

 

1. Consult multiple local stakeholders to identify community, client, caregiver, provider, school and mental health care system opportunities and barriers to quality mental health services for refugee children and adolescents;

 

2. Identify feasible quality improvements in the community, educational and health care system to address the consequences of traumatic stress among refugee children.

 

3. Use the information generated in Aims 1and 2 to launch a participatory dialogue process with multiple stakeholders to identify a menu of pilot projects/interventions from which 2-3 will be selected for further design and development in preparation for implementation.

 

The project used individual interviews and dialogue groups. Dialogue groups are a method of mutual inquiry that emphasizes not only problem solving but also community building capacity for collaboration across multiple stakeholders. Dialogue groups differ from focus groups in that the participant members are co-learners in a mutual process of participation and learning. We initially conducted separate stakeholder meetings with each group (e.g. youth/families, ethnic community organizations, providers, resource agencies, schools, policy makers) and expanded into a multiple stakeholder advisory group as the process evolved. There were several areas of investigation as part of dialogue groups including:

 

  • Reviewing findings from interviews conducted as part of this project;

  • Identifying and sharing best practice interventions from other resettlement communities;

  • Compiling a menu of pilot intervention projects and selecting prioritized pilot projects;

  • Identifying partners to collaborate in an advisory group and to participate in next steps for implementing selected pilot projects.

     

     

    Final Report Now Available:

  • Community Dialogue and Needs Assessment for Trauma Informed Systems of Care for Resettled African Refugee Youth in New Hampshire (pdf)
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