Spring 2017: Volume 73, Number 1
By Jennifer Rough Ph.D., WSP Foundation President
Our 2016-2017 campaign benefits mental health for refugee and asylum seeker settling in Washington State. For the past six months, we have partnered with the International Counseling and Community Services (ICCS), a service of Lutheran Community Services Northwest specifically devoted to providing culturally-sensitive evidence-based psychological services and coordinating multidisciplinary care for immigrant and refugee individuals and families.
This winter, WSPF hosted a Winter Drive campaign for the collection of clothing, food, and home goods for adult asylum seekers, who typically arrive in the U.S. with very little support or resources. The 2016-2017 Winter Drive campaign included donation collection boxes at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health and The Psychological Services and Training Center (The Clinic) at the University of Washington, Seattle Psychology, PLLC. WeWork graciously hosted collection boxes at their three downtown locations, as well. With the support of WSPA, we successfully raised over $3,000 in clothing, home essentials, food, gift cards for transportation and groceries to help asylum seekers.
Additionally, ICCS issued a request last fall for volunteer licensed psychologists and social workers to assist in providing psychological evaluations of individuals seeking asylum in Washington. ICCS has been short-staffed in asylum evaluations since 2015 due to a loss of funding in an external organization providing this service. We were wonderfully overwhelmed by the response: 88 volunteers attended the initial training, and twenty-five have gone on to receive more intensive evaluation preparation.
THANK YOU to the WSPA volunteers
This is tremendous work and an exceptional representation of WSPA. We are proud to have such wonderful members.
Beth Farmer, LICSW, and Director of ICCS, recently expressed her immense gratitude to WSPF and WSPA for our support:
Thank you so much for your partnership in human rights. Through your efforts, we have trained over a dozen more volunteers, and received over $3,000 in food and clothing. This has allowed us to make sure asylum seeker, many of whom have been tortured – have the help they need to stay safe and stable. Thank you again for all you do to further the cause of human rights and justice. It is so appreciated.
We had several asylum seekers in the office yesterday – One was a young man who became homeless. Your donated Orca cards are helping him travel to school from his shelter to the high school. Then we had someone who needed medicine. Your donated Visa card helped them pay for that medicine. Then we had someone who walked here from another state (!!!) and had not eaten in several days. Donated food and a food card were available because of you. HUGE thanks for what you [WSPA and WSPF] have accomplished in helping people.
Beth Farmer, LICSW
On behalf of WSPF, I would like to add that we are exceptionally grateful to the WSPA and broader communities for all of your support this winter season. We believe that refugees and asylum seekers simply add to our strength as a community. It is an honor to serve as liaison for psychologists to provide opportunities to show our support to marginalized and vulnerable communities in our state. We are in progress of planning the next events. Below, are a few current opportunities for WSPA members to get involved.
This Spring, we will be pledging your support of the National Alliance and Mental Illness (NAMI) walk on June 3rd. For details, please see our newsletter section specifically devoted to this event.
We always welcome WSPA members to contact us with any requests for causes or agencies in need of support. We wish our actions to reflect the broader interests of WSPA.
Current Professional Volunteer Opportunities
Assist in providing professional training for asylum evaluations
ICCS is seeking a volunteer clinical psychologist to assist with providing asylum evaluation training and organizing CEU certification for psychologists. We would love to continue to support ICCS through our volunteer services, and to be able to provide CEUs for this training.
Volunteer to provide asylum evaluations (1-2 per year)
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Beth Farmer, LICSW at firstname.lastname@example.org