The Executive Orders, Trauma, and Instilling Hope: Creating Safe Spaces for Immigrant and Refugee Communities in Chicago

Course #: W941

Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Erikson Institute

Cost: $150.00 $75.00

Credit Available: CEUs; SWCEUs; ISBE Clock Hours


This training will provide an overview of the legal classifications and context of migration for arriving immigrants and refugees in the United States broadly and those arriving in Illinois specifically. We will explore how mental health is defined across different cultural communities and the current trends in symptoms we are seeing in the field. This information provides the context for how we understand culturally-sensitive clinical practice with trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees, and allows for discussion around transnational integrative practice as an approach to aligning Western models of clinical treatment with non-Western populations. The workshop further examines mental health service delivery models, evidence-based approaches currently used in practice, and common themes in treatment including the role of interpreters/cultural brokers in the therapeutic process. Finally, the workshop examines strategies of engagement and common denominators of effective clinical practice with immigrants and refugees, with a focus on building resource networks and ongoing professional development.

Learn more about Dr. Hilado’s forthcoming book, Models for Practice With Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory.


Aimee Hilado, Ph.D., LCSW

Aimee Hilado, Ph.D., LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a PhD in Social Work, with Distinction, from Loyola University Chicago and a M.S. in Applied Child Development from Erikson Institute. In her role as Assistant Professor at NEIU, she serves as the Curriculum Specialist in the area of Human Behavior in the Social Environment and also teaches a course on Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees within the Social Work program. Her teaching, research and practice interests are informed by her work in the field of trauma and refugee mental health over the past decade. Dr. Hilado is also the Founding Manager of RefugeeOne’s Wellness Program, a mental health program for refugees at one of the largest resettlement agencies in Chicago. She developed the program and has remained the Program’s Manager since June 2011, providing oversight of the daily operations, providing direct clinical services, and providing testimony and consultation on both asylum and criminal cases. Additionally, Dr. Hilado has been recognized at national conferences including Zero to Three and the Council on Social Work Education for her practice and research efforts around refugee mental health, early intervention for vulnerable immigrant children and their families, and program evaluation. And she continues to publish in the areas of mental health, trauma, program evaluation and culturally sensitive clinical practice with new immigrant and refugee children and families, including her most recent edited book "Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory." Moreover, Dr. Hilado is the coordinator of the Mental Health First Responder team as part of the Chicago Is With You (CWY) Task Force, Mental Health and Wellness Subcommittee managing the city-wide effort to train and mobilize mental health providers at to support detainees at O'Hare International Airport, refugee-serving programs, and immigrant communities impacted by the current Administration's policies.

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