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Feature: August 2015

NOTE: There are some logistical changes happening in regards to the 3rd U.S. Conference on African Immigrant Health. Please check back soon for updated information. Thank you.

Walking Together: A Mental Health Therapist's Guide to Working with Refugees

This free publication (114 pg, PDF) is designed for mental health professionals, clinicians and social workers who have the privilege of working with refugees. The Guide tackles important topics such as barriers to care, overcoming obstacles, clinical considerations in assessment, treatment planning, working with interpreters, medication adherence, and trauma. Produced by International Counseling and Community Services (SeaTac), a program of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.

Download "Walking Together" PDF

Recent Features

Summer: Seasonal Safety Issues

Summer safety issues include heat-related illnesses, sun exposure, water safety concerns, and use of fireworks or concern about fire.  Extremely hot weather can cause sickness or even death.

People at highest risk for heat-related illness are:

  • Older adults
  • Young children
  • People with mental illness and chronic diseases
  • Athletes who exercise outdoors
  • Outdoor workers
  • People experiencing homelessness

During very hot weather:

  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors twice a day
  • Stay cool and avoid direct contact with the sun
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more
  • NEVER LEAVE INFANTS, children or pets in a parked car
  • Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.  Seek medical care immediately

Check out some helpful links to websites that provide information on summer safety topics in many languages, including some materials in audio/visual formats. Read more...

Migrant Children Health

Immigration ReformSome of the hyped claims and concerns over health risks from unaccompanied migrant children stem from ignorance, if not racial prejudice. The answer to responding to disease challenges is not scaremongering, not pointing fingers at migrant children, but rather ensuring that appropriate treatment is in place for them, regardless of where geographic borders lie. The following resources provide background information on the problem, factual information to help educate, and ongoing initiatives to address the misinformation. Read more...

Caring for Survivors of Torture - Selected New Resources

Obtaining Survivor Histories - Video Clips and Clinical Pearls
Absence4These videos are part of a series of short clips giving examples of issues to be aware of when obtaining a patient history. The clips are from interviews with patients of Dr. Carey Jackson (used with permission) demonstrating aspects of torture histories commonly encountered among torture survivors. New clips:

  • Witnessing the Torture of Others: An Example of Mass Torture in Cambodia under Pol Pot
  • Catastrophic Illness Triggers
  • The Experience of Reactivation

Sequelae of Torture: Traumatic Brain Injury - Video
40 minute video presentation by Dr. Carey Jackson about working with torture survivors. Topics include mechanisms of traumatic brain injury, symptoms of TBI, and how to assess and treat.


Ritual Female Genital Cutting: Promoting Cultural Versatility and Safety in Medical Practice

Originally presented or referenced at an event organized by Seattle University Students for Sexual and Reproductive Justice on December 5, 2014, materials include a video of the presentation given by speakers Drs. Elinor Graham, Anisa Ibrahim and Anab Abdullahi, presentation slides, intake form used to document patient history and exam, and links to related journal articles. Read more...


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DSM-IV Diagnostic Codes
Tests / Procedures Radiology Communication Phrases Translated
LTBI Treatment
Welcome to EthnoMed

EthnoMed contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to Seattle or the US, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.

EthnoMed Newsletter

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Torture Resources

Resources for clinicians and advocates around issues of torture, often related to warfare and political repression.  Includes information about Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) coalition serving refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in Washington State.  Visit Caring for Survivors of Torture page for additional information.

Scams Targeting Refugees and Immigrants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provide information about common immigration services scams and other kinds of scams targeting refugees and immigrants. To find information about recent scams, tools and education about avoiding scams, and to learn what victims should do if targeted, read more...