Understanding Trauma in Refugee Youth: Pre-flight, Flight, & Post-flight

Understanding Trauma in Refugee Youth: Pre-flight, Flight, & Post-flight

Refugee youth often face multiple traumatic experiences due to forced migration throughout their resettlement journey. With the aim of better understanding refugee trauma and mental health, this presentation offered a foundational knowledge of relevant theories; case vignettes illustrating refugee youth in the community, family, and school; and school-specific considerations.


  1. BRYCS November 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Additional language resources:
    You can also search the BRYCS clearinghouse (7k+ resources) by language https://www.brycs.org/clearinghouse/search_resources.cfm

    https://therefugeecenter.org/ RCO has many different languages available on their site. ­čÖé

    HealthReach (also found on BRYCS clearinghouse) offers translated materials related to health. https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/

  2. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Do any of you have experience about trauma informed approaches in early childhood and preschool settings?

  3. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    How do you respect family roles that conflict with US cultural roles?

  4. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Can you talk more about how teachers can better identify when trauma is the issue. What are key signs they can look for? How can you differentiate between a child that is just 'acting up' or really struggling?

  5. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    IRC has a Healing Classrooms early childhood curriculum from Lebanon that might be of interest

  6. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    What advice to you have for refugee youth who only get 1 or 2 years of public education before they are "graduated"/kicked out?

  7. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Refugee Center Online has a free GED program for students in those settings.

  8. Kansas City Schools November 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    One of the slides identified a stressor as being difficulty assessing students for learning disabilities. Do you have any resources or advice on navigating this barrier in the school setting?

  9. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    I was curious if any of you notice benefit from formally assessing for PTSD in refugee youth in order to tailor services?

  10. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Are activities that encourage students to tell their stories beneficial, in general?

  11. Lutheran Community Services Northwest November 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    How can I understand and support a refugee youth who is timid to open up and express her feeling?

  12. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    What is the first step getting mental health help for kids who clearly seem troubled?

  13. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Many forms of therapy can be used, including counseling and Art therapy for a youth who is shy or timid. drawing, painting, visual arts, digital art, etc

  14. BRYCS November 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    You may be interested in a project we did a few years ago: https://www.brycs.org/youtharts/youth_arts.htm

  15. USCCB November 10, 2017 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    What do you say/do with a youth URM who wants to go back home?

  16. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    What advice do you have for refugee teens who think that their parent miss represent them in school. sure. I know a family with a child (14yrs). Whenever he had problem with his school mates, the child expected the parent to relate his frustration to the school authorities. However, they cannot speak English very well. It came to a time the child stopped telling his parent and began to fight for himself.

  17. BRYCS November 10, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    BRYCS has also highlighted numerous programs within our promising practices database: https://www.brycs.org/promisingPractices/index.cfm that offer innovative ways to work with youth and their families

  18. RCO November 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    https://therefugeecenter.org/resources/teaching-refugees/ – These cultural background profiles from experts at RCO may help you be aware of differing cultural expectations and roles.

  19. Iraqi Mutual Aid November 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I work with refugee families and when I find out kids has Truma I contact the school social worker and schedule screening,I attend the meeting to help in translation

  20. Anonymous November 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Students in our school are talking much more a bout experiencing racism. Are there recommendations for dealing with this? Some say coaches, for example, treat them differently.

  21. BRYCS November 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Check out our resource list on this topic https://www.brycs.org/clearinghouse/highlighted-resources-bullying.cfm we also have an archived webinar and training module that you may find helpful. https://www.brycs.org/webinars.cfm https://www.brycs.org/modules.cfm

  22. BRYCS November 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Stay tuned for BRYCS newest parenting handbook on Raising Teens in the US which includes conversations starters for teens and parents…the topic of parent involvement in school is covered. We hope this will be released by the end of November.

  23. Catholic Charities, Trenton November 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    It could be helpful to have short videos that can help kick off these discussions with parents and youth, anyone know of something like this?

  24. Anonymous January 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    I would be very careful with this. I have seen it be an incredibly healing process, and I have also seen it be very challenging and ultimately hurtful. It should never be forced upon a youth to tell their story or have to recall it, if they are not ready/willing. It would be interesting if there are any studies done on the topic.

  25. Anonymous January 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    I would second the school screening. All schools should offer mental health services or be able to refer out. Make sure to be culturally sensitive. Many youth from refugee backgrounds can have different perspectives of westernized mental health care. It can be helpful to find someone in their community to speak to the family about mental health services and the benefits. Using a translator for these screenings would be best, so the youth feels comfortable to fully express themselves.

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