Education A National Roundup

Mental-Health Program to Address Needs of Immigrant Children

By Christina A. Samuels — June 20, 2006 1 min read

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, N.J., last week announced the creation of a three-year, $4.5 million program to improve mental-health services for children in low-income and immigrant communities.

The initiative, Caring Across Communities: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Diverse Children and Youth, will focus on helping schools work with community organizations providing mental-health services to immigrant and refugee families.

According to a press release from the foundation, “children from immigrant and refugee families often face economic, social, and personal hardships related to the family’s relocation to another country.” However, it said, children of immigrants, especially those who have come to the United States recently, are less likely to receive necessary mental-health services than their non-immigrant peers.

The program will be led by Julia Graham Lear, the director of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at George Washington University’s school of public health and health services in Washington.

The program will award $100,000 a year for up to three years to an estimated 15 geographically and ethnically diverse teams. Grantees can be organizations such as community mental-health centers or multicultural service agencies. Schools can be sites where services are provided, or providers in a network of care. Recipients will be announced in March 2007.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 21, 2006 edition of Education Week