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Health Program News

Local Faith-Based Organization Adopts Tobacco-Free Policy

Filed in Health Program News by on November 8, 2018

FULSToP branding

The Church of God of Prophecy Abundant Life became the first faith-based organization in San Diego County to adopt the FULSToP» ( Families Uniting Locally to Solve Tobacco Proliferation ) voluntary congregational tobacco-free policy».

FULSToP is a community-based initiative that aims to reduce tobacco-related health disparities and make gains toward health equity through regional approaches in San Diego and Orange Counties. The congregational tobacco-free policy is a voluntary approach to help faith-based organizations to promote the complete physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health and wellness of their congregations. The policy creates a tobacco-free environment, encourages smokers to quit, and ensures all congregants protection from secondhand and thirdhand smoke.

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New Outpatient Program Supports Victims of Crime

Filed in Health Program News by on November 8, 2018

NSDI ( Nile Sisters Development Initiative ) unveils a new initiative to provide supportive and culturally congruent outpatient services to victims of crime» who are coping with mild-to-moderate behavioral and mental health conditions within refugee and ethnic communities. The new program fills a previous void in community hope, healing, and prevention education.

Individuals with a confirmed appointment will receive a myriad of services, including victim assistance, intake assessment, group treatment, specialized therapy, case management, and wraparound support. The current outpatient weekly schedule is Wednesday from 10:00am to 4:00pm., but the appointment range likely will expand in January 2019.

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Inaugural MIND Institute Cohort Complete Training

Filed in Health Program News by on May 23, 2018


In early May, the first MIND I Institute» cohort successfully completed the one-month training program designed to increase awareness of behavioral health within refugee and ethnic newcomer populations. MIND | Institute participants engaged in small-group lectures and discussions led by seasoned subject-matter experts in cultural proficiency, behavioral health, law enforcement, public health, and other areas of interest to refugee and ethnic populations. 

Trainee Representation

  • 3 statuses: refugee, student visa holder, US citizen
  • 8 nationalities: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mexico, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, USA
  • 15 languages
  • 18% male, 82% female

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First MIND Institute Training Begins April 9

Filed in Health Program News by on March 27, 2018


Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) is proud to introduce MIND | Institute, a comprehensive training program for candidates interested in becoming behavioral health navigators for refugee and ethnic populations. MIND» ( Matters Involving Neuro-Disorders ) is a community-driven initiative that seeks to ensure that refugee and ethnic populations have equitable access to culturally and linguistically proficient mental and behavioral health resources. Through the Institute, prospective behavioral health navigators will learn key concepts for consideration when working with culturally diverse and underserved populations.The initial MIND I Institute behavioral health navigator training begins Monday, April 9.

MIND | Institute encompasses eight classes spanning one month, covering topics ranging from cultural competence and law enforcement to behavioral health. Specific subject-matter experts and the NSDI Health Advocacy Coordinator will present the material covered in each session.

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NSDI Leads State-Sponsored Refugee Mental Health Session

Filed in Event News, Health Program News, Recent Blog Posts by on October 28, 2017

On October 28, 2017, MHSOAC» the California ( Mental Health Services and Oversight Accountability Commission ) held a community forum» in Los Angeles to discuss the impact of Proposition 63, known as the Mental Health Services Act ( MHSA ).

The Client and Family Leadership Committee and the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee facilitated the forum, and NSDI ( Nile Sisters Development Initiative ) led a breakout session that covered the topic of refugee mental health, the first of its kind for the MHSOAC.

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Invitation to Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health Coalition Strategic Planning Meeting

Filed in Event News, Health Program News by on August 10, 2017


On Friday, August 18, 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) will conduct a strategic planning meeting for the Refugee and Ethnic Mental Health Coalition». The meeting will run from 9:00am to noon at the CARE Community Center, located at 12 North Euclid Avenue, National City, CA 91950.

Coalition stakeholders and community participants must reserve their places at the meeting no later than Monday, August 14, 2017. Reserve your place by email:

Community Members and Stakeholders Convene to Discuss Refugee and Ethnic Health Concerns

Filed in Health Program News by on August 4, 2017

In July 2017, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI), in partnership with the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, assembled a three-day Refugee and Ethnic Populations Health Convening» with sessions covering technical assistance and capacity building for board members and senior executives of health-oriented, ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs).

The purpose of the convening was to provide evidence-based information to increase and strengthen the competence of ECBOs to provide culturally and linguistically proficient services to underserved minority populations as well as to build organizational capacity. A one-day training also benefited community health workers who work with recently arrived refugees and other ethnic minority populations, specifically related to the prevention and treatment of HIV / AIDS and hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

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Input Wanted for Regional Conference on Refugee / Ethnic Immigrant Health

Filed in Health Program News by on June 21, 2017

California is the largest refugee resettlement state in the United States. Since 1975, approximately 700,000 refugees have been resettled in California, excluding select individuals, such as Cuban / Haitian entrants and special immigration visa (SIV) holders. Many refugee and ethnic populations, especially newly arrived immigrants, are burdened with preventable health conditions that, often, impede successful integration into host communities and hamper the abilities of refugee and ethnic populations to thrive.

In 2018, Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI), in partnership with the US Office of Minority Health, will host the Western Regional Conference on Refugee and Ethnic Immigrant Health. This conference will be an extension of the US Conference on African Immigrant Health, held annually in different parts of the country.

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First Refugee Mental Health Coalition Meeting

Filed in Health Program News by on June 20, 2017

In 2016, NSDI (Nile Sisters Development Initiative) began a community-driven project to improve the mental health and psychosocial well-being of San Diego’s refugee and ethnic populations. Between October and November 2016, a series of community conversations with community leaders and regional refugee-serving organizations took place. Of those who completed an evaluation distributed during the conversations, 100% valued the importance of meeting regularly, prompting the decision to meet on a quarterly basis thoughout 2017.

The new refugee mental health coalition first met on Friday, June 9, 2017, from 10:00am to 12:00pm at the Copley-Price Family YMCA, located at 4300 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92105. A total of 15 agencies and organizations gathered to discuss next steps. Guest speaker Senait Admassu, MSW, who serves as the executive director of the African Communities Public Health Coalition (ACPHC) covered the health promotion and outreach strategies employed to overcome shame and stigma associated with mental illness within refugee communities from the African diaspora. She also emphasized the importance of building trust and inspiring community engagement and leadership. Ms. Admassu brings more than eight years of in-community work experience with both nonprofit and public mental health programs. Her current employer, ACPHC, has spearheaded progress in the acknowledgement and delivery of culturally and linguistically sensitive mental health resources to the African refugee and immigrant communities in Los Angeles.

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Mental Health America Annual Conference Benefits San Diego Refugee Populations

Filed in Health Program News by on June 16, 2017

Nile Sisters Development Initiative ( NSDI ) staff participated in the Mental Health America ( MHA ) 2017 Annual Conference» in Washington, DC, from June 14 through June 16, 2017.

Traditionally, California has been the state with the largest refugee resettlement rate, and the County of San Diego boasts the largest refugee population in California. In 2016, NSDI conducted a mental-health roundtable discussion and two successive community dialogues with refugee and ethnic service providers in San Diego County. Since then, various stakeholders at local, state, and national levels have received the subsequent cumulative report, Advancing Equity».

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