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Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Conference

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University of St. Thomas Jones Hall

3800 Montrose Boulevard

Houston, TX 77006

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U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in partnership with The Alliance and the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies is hosting a conference on Refugee Mental Health and Wellness as part of the Texas Refugee Wellness Initiative.

Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Jeffrey Kottler and refugee expert Dr. Sophia Banu along with many other speakers. The event includes nine afternoon breakout sessions with an overview of refugee mental health and wellness topics, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, enhancing language services, and presentations by mental health professionals, medical professionals and immigration law experts.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jeffrey Kottler is Professor Emeritus of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton and is Clinical Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Baylor College of Medicine. He is also the founder of Empower Nepali Girls, a foundation that supports and mentors at-risk children. He has served as a Fulbright scholar and senior lecturer in Peru and Iceland, as well as worked as a visiting professor in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Nepal.

Refugee expert Dr. Sophia Banu is a board certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist. She is Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Banu has extensive experience working with torture survivors and refugees in Nepal, Greece, Bangladesh and the U.S. She founded the Clinic for International Trauma Survivors under Baylor College of Medicine and Health and Human Services treating refugees and survivors of torture here in Houston, training residents and medical students, training case managers, working closely with all the resettlement agencies here in Houston. She recently joined forces with Alliance to start the Alliance Wellness Center for refugees and underserved populations.

Afternoon breakout sessions will include:

Story Telling, Acceptance and Mindfulness by Dr. Sophia Banu and Dr. Mark Yurewicz from Baylor College of Medicine

Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue by Dr. Jeffrey Kottler, Baylor College of Medicine

Challenges in Medical Case Management of Refugees - A panel discussion with Dr. Stephen Chao, a family physician at Legacy Community Health Services, Aisha Koroma, MA, QMHP-CS with The Alliance, Lynn Nwadei of Harris Health, Shaoli Bhadra with YMCA International Services, and Zainab Ihsan with Refugee Services of Texas.

How to Work with Interpreters by Mohamed Yousafzai, Program Manager, Alliance Language Network

Medical Evaluation of Asylum Seekers by Dr. Patrick McColloster, Baylor College of Medicine.

Human Trafficking: Increasing Awareness in Houston's Refugee and Immigrant Communities by Constance Rossiter, YMCA International Services and John Wall, Sergeant, Houston Police Department.

Immigration 101 by Anne Chandler, Executive Director of Tahirih Justice Center‘s Houston office.

Policy Changes and Macro Issues within Houston's Immigrant Populations by Kate Vickery, Executive Director of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative.

Community Needs Assessment overview by Baylor College of Medicine students Sally Huang, Sarah Ali and Natalie Lazarescou with a special presentation on Central American Refugee Children by Sarah Howell from Las Americas Newcomer School.

Registration is free and includes breakfast and a boxed lunch.

The plenaries and mental health breakout sessions of this conference have been approved for 4.5 CEUs for Social Workers and Licensed Professional Counselors.

Parking: Parking is available on the street and for $5 in the Moran Center.

Registration is in Jones Hall.

To learn more about U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and the Texas Refugee Wellness Initiative click here.

For questions, please contact Anne Fuller at afuller@uscritx.org.

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University of St. Thomas Jones Hall

3800 Montrose Boulevard

Houston, TX 77006

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