Mental Health, Violence, and Resilience Among Young Somali Refugees: When community engagement is not a method but an answer

  • Judge Baker Children's Center 53 Parker Hill Avenue Boston, MA, 02120 United States

Presenter: Heidi Ellis, PhD, Director Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center, Boston Children's Hospital

With increasing numbers of refugees fleeing violence and political instability, questions of how to support their healthy adaptation in countries of resettlement have taken on new urgency. Somali refugees, one of the largest groups of refugees to resettle in the United States over the past decade, have shown a wide range of adaptation and adjustment.
While the majority show health and resilient outcomes, some experience significant mental health problems, and others have struggled with experiencing or perpetrating violence. In a few rare but highly publicized cases, Somali youth have joined violent extremist organizations. How can we understand these diverse developmental pathways? How can this knowledge be used to develop prevention and intervention programs? I will present research examining experiences in resettlement and diverse outcomes among young Somalis, and consider how a community-based participatory research approach not only fosters successful research but also provides the base for resilient communities and effective intervention solutions for problems ranging from mental illness to violent extremism. 

You may attend this event in person at the Judge Baker Children's Center of via live streaming