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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.


In order to improve access to quality, culturally and linguistically sensitive behavioral health services for refugee and ethnic communities, NSDI also allotted an opportunity in the June 9 meeting for participants to collaborate on a mini strategic-planning activity to facilitate the drafting of vision statements, organizational values, and mission statements that will support the development of coalition goals and objectives.

Mental Health Coalition 2017 Meeting Schedule
Friday, September 8
Friday, December 8

Meetings convene at the Copley-Price Family YMCA, 4300 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92105.

Reserve your place by email:»