As uncertainty for undocumented immigrant learners continues to build, mental health professionals across the country are uniting to support them.
Adler University’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Action welcomed panelists March 21 to a Chicago campus Common Hour centered on exactly that. The professionals shared tips and a list of resources for those who work with people who are undocumented, participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and those who have mixed status families.
Presenters included Maria J. Ferrera, an assistant professor with DePaul University’s Department of Social Work; and Dr. Dana Rush, assistant professor for the University of Illinois’s clinical psychiatry and Dissemination and Implementation Research and Policy programs.
The pair encouraged Adler University community members to reference the growing number of resources included below. All are aimed at supporting clients who identify as immigrants.
What We Need to Know
- Stay informed
- Seek consultation & resources
- Importance of legal counsel
- Learn about local & state advocacy efforts
- Acknowledge intersection of marginalized groups
- Model tolerance and inclusion
- Practice self-care
- Build social support
Mental Health Resources
- The Coalition for Immigrant Mental Health (CIMH) has created a comprehensive list of mental health resources.
- The IL Childhood Trauma Coalition-Refugee & Immigrant Youth Subcommittee compiled a guide for working with refugee and immigrant communities.
- Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Resilience offers evidence-based trainings and resources focused on the mental health needs of marginalized youth “because no child should ever feel alone.” The organization has also worked with community partners to create a one-stop-shop of additional information surrounding DACA recipients’ rights and coping methods.
Legal Resources: Know your Rights!
- Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
- National Immigrant Justice Center (of the Heartland Alliance)
- National Immigration Law Center
- Includes templates for Family Preparedness Plans
- DACA Program Updates
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
- The Young Clinic (U of Chicago)
- Loyola Center for Human Rights of Children
- Alianza Americas (Chicago)
State & National Coalitions
- National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
- Immigration Advocates Network
- American Immigration Council
- National Immigrant Integration Conference
Resources for Schools & Educators
- Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators & School Support Staff (American Federation of Teachers, 2016)
- Supporting Undocumented Youth Resource Guide (U.S. Dept of Education, 2015)
- DACA Toolkit
- IL Student Guide
- DePaul OpEd Piece
Community Education / Outreach / Training
Inclusion & Awareness Campaigns
Social Media & Arts Campaigns
Narratives of Youth with Undocumented Status
- No Le Digas A Nadie (Don’t Tell Anyone)
- The New American Story Project
- The Only Way We Can Fight Back is to Excel (New Tork Times)
- Challenging the ‘DREAMer’ Narrative
Featured photograph courtesy of Flickr user Molly Adams