The Intercultural Counseling Connection
The Intercultural Counseling Connection is a resource for refugee, asylee, and asylum-seeking clients in Maryland. Participating providers are mental health professionals committed to providing culturally responsive counseling and therapeutic services with up to two Connection clients per year. Providers who accept Medical Assistance may seek Medicaid reimbursement for refugee clients with MA coverage. However, all participating therapists must be willing to see at least one Connection client per year on a pro bono, non-reimbursed basis. This helps ensure provision of mental health services for asylum-seeking individuals who are uninsured and lack access to federal benefits. The Connection network includes mental health professionals in Greater Baltimore and in Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties. Among them are native speakers of Spanish, Farsi, Tigrinya, and Nepali; counselors who specialize in working with youth and with survivors of domestic violence and trafficking; and a neuropsychologist who specializes in conducting assessments of cognitive functioning. Connection members benefit from periodic free workshops and ongoing professional support, including consultation/supervision by fellow clinicians who have much experience working with survivors or conflict-related trauma and torture. The Connection operates in close collaboration with the Refugee Mental Health Program in the Office of Immigrant Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees (MORA); Asylee Women Enterprise; the International Rescue Committee-Baltimore; and the Episcopal Refugee and Immigration Center Alliance (ERICA). Institutional support and workshop hosting are provided by Loyola University, Maryland.