ERIC Number: ED435208
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Understanding Refugee Mental Health Concerns.
Compass Points: New Directions for English Language Training, v5 p5,7 Spr 1999
Refugees to the United States are fleeing intolerable conditions and arriving to a new, very unfamiliar environment with many possibilities and sometimes conflicting expectations. Some are able to focus on their new life; others experience significant psychological, emotional, and physical adjustment problems. English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teachers can develop helpful and supportive relationships with refugees struggling to cope with daily life, but can also be ready targets for displaced anger, disappointment, and frustration. ESL teachers may be called on to referee conflicts. ESL teachers may also feel ineffectual in the face of students' lack of progress or seeming disinterest, and feel powerless to effect change. Teachers may be able to refer students having more difficulties than expected to resettlement mental health services. If the community has not addressed the concerns of refugee mental health, it may be time to initiate the discussion. Working with refugee groups can be both highly rewarding and highly stressful. It is important to monitor ESL teachers' stress levels and emotional responses, be familiar with the ways they cope. Teachers should take the time to do a personal inventory and care for themselves, which is also good role modeling for students. (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education) (MSE)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Spring Inst. for International Studies, Wheat Ridge, CO.