Refugee and undocumented immigrant women may experience unique and ongoing stress following migration, in addition to the pre- and post-migration traumatic events all immigrants may experience. A new study explores ways in which refugee and immigrants develop resilience to cope with these experiences. Many of the women rely on both external strategies, such as reliance on government supports (if eligible), and internal strategies, such as their faith and their positive beliefs about opportunities in the United States.
The study suggest that counselors can play important roles in advocacy, creating community-based support systems, and offering culture-centered mental health services to immigrant women.
"We are seeing an increase in hostility towards immigrants, and we are also seeing community leaders and allies step forward to build a more just society in which immigrants can thrive," said Dr. Rachael Goodman, lead author of the Journal of Counseling & Development study. "As service providers, policy makers, and researchers, we must work in partnership with immigrant communities to ameliorate harm and promote wellbeing through both clinical interventions and policy."