Over the past 6 months, the Safety and Wellness department has been taking immense strides to incorporate mental health and psychosocial support programming into the IRC in NY Resettlement Office. These efforts have been very successful with clients reporting an increased understanding around mental health and wellbeing and applying valuable coping strategies to manage stressful situations. 

Coping strategies are invaluable during a period of stress, which often is the case for clients who are adapting to a new home and new structures as a result of the resettlement process.  

As a result of scaling the Safety and Wellness efforts, the Safety and Wellness coordinator, who was onboarded in Spring 2022 has contributed a lasting effect so far. There has since been an increasing number of referrals for mental health services over the past 6 months. The Safety and Wellness Coordinator has worked with interns and volunteers to develop a robust service map of mental health agencies throughout NYC and identify mental health agencies with which to partner and refer clients.   

Towards these efforts, the Safety and Wellness Coordinator has also worked to provide mental health screenings, safety and risk assessments, psychoeducation and short-term supportive counseling to clients. These steps have been critical to bridging clients to outside mental health services. 

The IRC in NY has launched a series of Safety & Wellness Workshops to give clients the opportunity to come together in a collective and safe space. These workshops have been integral to their healing and have opened the space for clients to work through difficult emotions. 

So far, these workshops have been helpful in that process:  

The Safety and Wellness department is closing up the year on a strong note, with these workshops:  

Looking forward, the S&W department plans to collaborate with the Adult Education Department to incorporate mental health curriculum into upcoming Cultural Orientation and English Language Learning classes. This is a big step forward!  

They are also working to develop a workshop series to address the needs of the Ukrainian community for Spring 2023. These efforts will continue to reinforce the importance of mental health and mental wellbeing in resettlement services and allow clients the space and comfort to work through their emotions!