School News

Experts to Examine Immigrant Rights and Mental Health at November Event 10.28.11
Experts to Examine Immigrant Rights and Mental Health at November Event

A panel of community organizers, youth, researchers, and mental health experts exploring immigrant rights and mental health implications will speak at the Adler School, at a Nov. 1 event hosted by the School’s Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) in partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), and the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL).

The panel, “A Dream Deferred: The Mental Health Implications of Being an Undocumented Youth,” will take place 3:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Adler School, 17 N. Dearborn. The event is free but seats are limited and registration is required. To RSVP, email or contact IPSSJ at 312-662-4000.

Last winter, after Congress considered but did not pass legislation on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, groups around the country began focusing on state-level support for undocumented students. In Illinois, an effort led by undocumented students, university presidents, religious leaders, and ICIRR resulted in the passage of the Illinois Dream Act, creating a private scholarship fund for immigrant youth and providing counselors the skills to work with them.

However, few efforts have focused on the unique mental health challenges faced by young people whose careers and dreams are thwarted by their immigration status—resulting in high rates of depression and suicide. The Nov. 1 panel—intended for community organizers, school counselors and staff, undocumented youth, and others interested in learning about and taking action—seeks to introduce the issue and call for organization and action to support undocumented youth and address these mental health needs. 

Presenters include:

  • Roberto Gonzales, University of Chicago professor whose work focuses on undocumented youth experience and organizing;
  • Reyna Wences, Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) organizer;
  • Jacqueline Luna, Social Worker at Heartland Alliance of Human Needs and Human Rights’ Violence Recovery Services in Little Village, and volunteers with IYJL to support mental health initiatives;
  • Dr. Sonali Gupta, mental health expert working with asylum seekers and a faculty member at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.

The panel—part of ongoing collaboration among the Adler School IPSSJ, the ICIRR, and the IYJL—is also an Adler Action Day. Each year, the Adler School of Professional Psychology organizes Adler Action Days as dedicated days to promote social action among Adler School staff, faculty, students and the community, and address injustices through action with systemic impact. Adler Action Days have generated petitions to Congress in support of healthcare reform legislation, state lobby days on changes to state death penalty law, and postcards to the Mexican attorney general seeking investigation of police brutality in Atenco, Mexico.

About the Adler School of Professional Psychology

The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a Scholar/Practitioner model for more than 50 years. The School’s mission is to train socially responsible graduates who continue the visionary work of Alfred Adler throughout the world. The Adler School offers 13 graduate-level programs enrolling more than 1,000 students at its campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online.

Kim McCullough
Director of Communication
Adler School of Professional Psychology
(312) 662-4124 or via email.