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A toolkit for helping refugee families build resilience towards stress

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The Center for Refugee Trauma and Resilience at the Boston Children’s Hospital in the United States has developed a web-based toolkit to help personnel working with refugee children and families to understand the experiences of this vulnerable population, to identify the needs associated with their mental health, and to help connect them with appropriate interventions.

The grounding theory behind this toolkit is that the mental health and general well-being of refugee children and families are impacted by multiple factors, including four core stressors – trauma, resettlement, acculturation, and social isolation. The aim of this toolkit is to give service providers information, community resources and supports to build resilience and reduce stress in refugee families. The toolkit has four sections: 1) Information about refugees, 2) case examples (of a 15-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl), 3) provider tips (including practical strategies for helping families deal with each of the stressors) and 4) a core stressor assessment tool.