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Exploring Health and Mental Health of Refugees and Immigrants: A Call to Action

On Friday, January 26th, the Center for Research on Migration Refugee Integration (CRMRI) at the University of Utah will host the first in a series of symposia aimed at addressing integration gaps for Salt Lake area residents with refugee or immigrant backgrounds. In response to community requests, this discussion will focus specifically on access to healthcare and the lack of services available to address mental health issues. “This is a day to explore the needs of underserved populations and help them to get the necessary services,” said Caren Frost, director of CRMRI. She explained this is an opportunity for service providers to talk about the issues they are seeing and consider how services can be provided with resources currently available in the Salt Lake Valley.

Panelists will include representatives from the International Rescue Committee, Salt Lake City Police Department, St. Mark’s Family Medicine, University of Utah Health Clinics, and the Refugee Immigrant Center–Asian Association of Utah, among others. “Hopefully this day will offer a chance for people to take a closer look at the work they are doing, as well as an opportunity to expand their networks of available services,” explained Frost. “We are going to ask them to consider, ‘Is my organization duplicating services?’ ‘What needs aren’t we meeting?’ ‘Could we improve the way we give and receive referrals?’”

After giving participants a chance to talk though concerns, symposium attendees will create a defined action plan in order to implement change where it is needed the most. “In the end, it comes down to one question,” said Frost, “How do we better serve the people most in need?”

The symposium will take place in the University of Utah College of Social Work’s Okazaki Community Meeting Room (155), 395 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Registration for this event is required and the cost is $10. For more information and an agenda of the day, visit:

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Last Updated: 5/28/19