ILLINOIS: Countering the Stigma of Mental Health in Chicago’s Immigrant Communities
March 15, 2019
Nonprofit organizations are working to support the mental health of Chicago’s immigrant communities. To help immigrants and refugees transition to life in a new country, the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society (IMAS) provides support services that bridge language and cultural gaps. For example, it runs a support group where women learn practical skills for navigating American life and discuss issues related to well-being and safety. IMAS also partners with Apna Ghar, a nonprofit that offers counseling, housing assistance, and support services to immigrants who have experienced gender-based violence. The organization takes a culturally competent approach to mental health care by basing it on the beliefs, values, and needs of each client. Counseling is offered in a client’s native language and takes into account socio-economic sources of stress, said Apna Ghar counselor Sara Heidbreder.
Spark Extra! Read about culturally competent approaches to suicide prevention.