SWK3310EN - Mental & Physical Health in Immigrant Communities

Course description

An introduction to topics in mental & physical health for immigrant and migratory populations. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the contextual factors and epidemiologic issues of displaced persons. Students will develop an integrated approach to address the mental and physical health of immigrant communities.

How this course benefits students

This course will benefit students who are interested in working with immigrants and migrant groups.

Why this course is important

Migration often require major adaptation as people cross interpersonal socio-economic, cultural, and geographical boundaries. Crisis and migrations can create specific mental and physical vulnerabilities if combine with other risk factors which can affect the mental and physical well-being of migrants. A course in Mental and Physical Health in immigrant communities is essential because it will equip professional with the tools and knowledge needed to work within these communities. Students will be able to provide psychosocial assistance to migrants, displaced and crisis affected individuals within these communities.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Social Work
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Olivia Owusu-Boakyewaah, Professor of Social Ministry

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33-34. The world is becoming increasingly globalized; more people are leaving their homelands to seek better lives and opportunities elsewhere. There are many diverse and complex reasons for migration, ranging from economic necessity, war, or some type of persecution. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors. The Bible is unambiguous in calling us to welcome aliens and strangers in our land, and to love them as we love ourselves. This course will be built on the biblical principles as stated in Leviticus 19:33-34.

Missionally driven

This course will enhance the mission work of the clinical social worker through work with the immigrant community.

Contextually informed

In the US, immigrant families constitute a large and growing proportion of the population. About one-fourth of children born in this country are either immigrants or children of immigrants. Immigrant groups are more culturally diverse, have limited financial and social resources, experience higher poverty rates. Therefore, they are a population that seems to have higher need for attention. This course serves as an empowerment approach to social problems. It will highlight cultural adjustment and access to language, economic, health, education services and benefits as defined by policies and laws. Specific problem areas related to immigrants and refugees will include child welfare, trafficking in persons, interpersonal violence, mental and physical disabilities, aging and intergenerational issues, and political conflict, detention and torture.

Interculturally focused

The course focuses on immigrants and refugees and examines how clinical social worker will be able to serve their needs.

Practically minded

This course will give students the practice tools and insight needed to work with immigrant and refugee families. The format for the class may include lecture, discussion, videotapes, small group exercises, panel discussions, and role play. It is designed for maximum student participation and sharing of experiences and insights in order to facilitate the integration of theory and advanced practice.

Experientially transformed

Students will be able to apply what they are learning into everyday work with immigrant and their families. Social Work field placement will involve work within the immigrant communities.