Partnering with refugee communities to improve mental health access: Going from "why are they not coming" to "what can I (we) do differently?"

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2022 Jul;28(3):370-378. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000476. Epub 2021 Jul 29.


Refugees are disproportionally impacted by trauma and its negative sequelae. Even after being resettled in the United States, refugees face disparities in accessing services due to the stigma attached to mental health symptoms and the paucity of culturally and linguistically accessible services. Thus, there is a great need to develop methods that facilitate the engagement of refugee communities. Community-Based Participatory Research recommends the forming of equal and equitable partnerships with communities and stakeholders to enhance community capacity and ownership of the research process and outcomes (Israel et al., 1998). The present article shares one approach to operationalizing these principles with the Somali refugee community. It provides a road map of best practices in collaborating with communities and the importance of colearning and cultural humility to a successful partnership. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders*
  • Mental Health
  • Refugees* / psychology
  • Somalia
  • United States