Presented by: Mercedes Avila, PhD
This presentation will describe the work of a Cultural Brokering program developed and implemented in Vermont to address behavioral health disparities in former refugee and immigrant communities.
The goal of the Vermont Cultural Brokering program is to raise awareness about the mental health and substance use treatment, connect community members to needed services, and implement universal screening models that can reduce stigma associated with mental health and substance abuse treatment. Seven Cultural Brokers, from the Somali/Somali Bantu, Congolese, Nepali/Bhutanese, and Arabic speaking communities connect with community members to needed services, and in some cases; has led to reducing suicidal ideation and risk. Results from 5000 screenings and stories will be presented; as well as lessons learned related to culturally responsive approaches and practices that should be considered when working with these populations.