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The Ronald Williams Library exterior with two trees in the foreground and students walking the paths of the University Commons

Monday, April 17, 2017

Aimee Hilado publishes book about working with trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees

Northeastern Illinois University Assistant Professor of Social Work Aimee Hilado has co-written and co-edited her first book, “Models for Practice With Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory.” The book, from Sage Publishing, brings together leaders in the field to share information about culturally sensitive approaches to providing therapy to trauma-exposed populations.

Designed to establish a foundational framework for working with trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees, the book introduces innovative approaches to address client mental health problems while supporting adjustment to life in a new country. It presents six different models for applying and integrating Western theory and related practice strategies for working with individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, volunteers and local workforces.

“Global migration is increasing as a result of violent regional conflicts, climate change, and scarcity of resources and opportunities that propel people to leave their home countries,” Hilado said. “Those that make the journey to new countries often carry a mix of joy and hope for the future as well as trauma from the loss and violence experienced in their migration journey. This book is to prepare entry- to advanced-level professionals who will address the mental health needs that deeply affect immigrants and refugees fleeing terror and persecution and hoping to rebuild their lives with safety and dignity.”

Hilado has worked in the field of refugee mental health and trauma since 2007. In 2011, she started the Wellness Program with RefugeeOne, the largest refugee resettlement agency in Chicago.

“As the needs of immigrant and refugee populations continue to grow, I will continue to teach and work on disseminating materials that will prepare us to address those needs,” she said.

Drawing on her professional experiences, Hilado co-wrote six chapters of “Models for Practice With Immigrants and Refugees” and co-edited the book with Loyola University Chicago Social Work Professor Marta Lundy.

“This book came out of conversations about how we couldn’t find a good textbook to use in our immigrant and refugee courses, so we went ahead and put one together ourselves,” Hilado said. “This is just the beginning—we are already thinking of the second edition that will add content on working with interpreters and specific cases by ethnicity.”

Aimee Hilado

Carruthers Center

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