Three ways to help refugees and each other create a healthy path – Buffalo News

Posted: January 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm


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When conducting refugee health assessments, Michelle Smith, a nurse practitioner at the Community Health Center of Buffalo, sometimes notices jittery behavior, shaking legs and hair pulling. Her patients may not be reporting any signs of depression or anxiety, but their body language suggests it. You can view that theyre having trauma, she said. Theyre not able to express exactly what it is.

Ting Lee, a licensed mental health counselor in Buffalo, works with a range of clients, including those who are American-born and refugees around the world. The way that trauma is manifested is extremely different across the cultures, said Lee, who is from Singapore. Her Asian and Arab clients, she said, tend to externalize their symptoms by noting physical conditions such as, My back hurts, or I cant get out of bed. Sometimes, she added, her clients will see doctors who order an MRI, but then find no serious physical ailments, which then leads to a behavioral health referral.

On the opposite, Lee said, Cultures that identify with Abrahamic religions are very in touch with affect and emotion. Theyre able to say, I have no meaning. I'm unable to build a new home in the U.S. I have a lot of survivors guilt.

Gender differences play out here, too. One example: Research byDr. Isok Kim, an associate professor at the University at Buffalos School of Social Work, found a "pronounced" gender disparity in Karen refugees, who are an ethnic minority from Burma. The rate of alcohol use disorder for Karen men was 24%.

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Three ways to help refugees and each other create a healthy path - Buffalo News

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January 3rd, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Self-Help