COVID-19 and Refugee and Immigrant Youth: A Community-Based Mental Health Perspective

Tarik Endale, Nicole St Jean, Dina Birman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this article, we comment on the experience of the Kovler Center Child Trauma Program (KCCTP) following the March 21, 2020, shelter at home order in Chicago due to COVID-19. The KCCTP is a program of Heartland Alliance International that was founded in 2018 to provide community-based mental health and social services to immigrant and refugee youth and families who have experienced trauma. COVID-19 temporarily closed the doors of the center, suspending provision of in-person services in the community, and the program was forced to become remote overnight. The KCCTP rapidly transitioned to providing accessible information, active outreach, extensive case management, and flexible delivery of teletherapy and online psychosocial support, finding that attending to structural barriers and basic needs was crucial to family engagement and therapeutic success. Ongoing challenges include technological proficiency and access to computers, Internet, and private spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Migrant
  • Refugee
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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