RMHRN & International Committee Updates
Section Editor; Founder & Chair, Refugee Mental Health Resource Network
Refugee Mental Health Resource Network
The Refugee Mental Health Resource Network (RMHRN) organized a symposium on International Interventions and Research about Trauma Faced by Refugees and Migrants at the 2023 APA Convention in Washington DC. Participants included Frances Boulon, Elizabeth Carll, Shaifali Sandhya, Julian Moreno, Deborah Stiles, and Keary L Ritchie. Topics discussed included the emergence of migration psychology – future directions, cross-cultural perspectives, responding and evaluating displaced and immigrant children, and remediating torture and complex trauma. A lively discussion followed with the audience.
Inquiries have continued as to the availability of university training and degrees relating to immigration and refugees. Initially in 2017 very few, if any, university programs existed. However, gradually more were established. As a result, due to ongoing inquiries and apparent need, a Directory of Advanced University Degrees in Refugee and Migration Studies in United States and International Universities was developed in 2022 and available on the RMHRN website resource page. The current issue is being updated with additions. It includes both U.S and international universities offering graduate degrees and a few universities offering certificates. Doctoral programs have been developed and likely these will increase. If you are aware of any programs not listed or have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Carll, PhD.
Webinars are being planned for 2024.
The APA Trauma Psychology Division (56) has been providing two annual travel stipends of $1,000 each for international students, who are citizens of developing countries, to attend the APA Convention. The annual stipend is a project of the International Committee with a subcommittee determining the recipient who is enrolled in a graduate psychology program and has a trauma related poster or paper accepted or is a participant in a panel/symposium at the APA convention.
Recipients of the two travel stipends to the 2023 APA Convention in Washington, DC were:
Julián D. Moreno, MSc is citizen of Colombia and a research fellow at Trend UP Lab at the Center of Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University. He is enrolled in the Doctoral psychology program and anticipates graduating in 2028. In addition. he has worked as a senior member and lab manager at the Clinical Psychology Lab at the University of Los Andes, in Colombia, where he received his Master’s in clinical and health psychology. His APA Convention presentation addressed the mental health challenges of Venezuelan Migrant Children and Adolescents in Colombia.
Asmita Saha, MA is a citizen of India and enrolled in the Counseling Psychology PhD program at Auburn University. She anticipates graduating in August 2025. Her APA Convention presentation explored racial and ethnic socialization among black immigrant emerging adults. The study described tension in reconciling the Black racial identity in the U.S., while adhering to the African ethnic value of retaining their own culture. Participants discussed the pressure to succeed being a salient message they received in relation to African socialization.
A newly developing project of the International Committee will look at the path of the past recipients of the travel stipend, their educational status, and current positions.
A thank you to Jyothi Vayalakkara, Debbie Stiles, Zeynep Sagir, and Rita Rivera, who served as the stipend selection subcommittee of the International Committee to determine the recipient.