Working with Immigrant-Origin Clients: An Update for Mental Health Professionals.
Carola Suárez-Orozco, Dina. Birman, Dina. Casas, J. Manuel. Nakamura, Nadine. Tummala-Narra, Pratyusha. Zárate, Michael.
American Psychological Association.
American Psychological Association
750 1st St., NE
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: 800-374-2721 202-336-5500
Intended for mental health professionals, this brief explains immigrant-origin children have become the fastest growing segment of the national child population, 30% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are first- or second-generation immigrants, and by 2020, one in three children below the age of 18 will be the child of an immigrant. The need for psychologists to be aware of this transformation in demographics and to consider its implications is emphasized. Information is then provided on factors fueling U.S. immigration, the demographic profile of the U.S. immigrant population, and characteristics that make immigrant populations resilient. Major mental health challenges faced by immigrants are discussed and include the stresses caused by the immigration process, acculturation conflicts, employment problems, traumatic experiences, and discrimination and racism. Barriers to accessing mental health services are considered, as well as treatment considerations for mental health providers. Recommendations are made in the areas of assessment and diagnosis, and the following principles are explained that clinicians should apply in providing effective mental health services to immigrants: use an ecological perspective, integrate evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence, provide culturally competent treatment, partner with community-based organizations, and incorporate social justice principles in providing service. 13 references.
immigrants; children of immigrants; therapeutic intervention; psychologists; cultural competency; barriers; evidence based practice; mental health services