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Supporting the Wellbeing of Latinx Immigrants and Refugees: Advocacy and Strategies for Behavioral Health Providers


This is a two-part series hosted by IRESA that takes place on September 15 and September 29, 2022, from 12:00 PM–4:00 PM CT (1:00 PM–5:00 PM ET). You must register for each session of this series separately.


Register for September 15

Register for September 29


Module 1: Anti-immigrant Policy and Latinx Mental Health: Detrimental Psychological Impact, Resilient Coping, and Active Resistance (September 15, 2022)

Presenters: Germán Cadenas & Raquel Sosa

This presentation will provide an overview of the contextual conditions related to immigration policy that shape the psychological experiences of Latinx immigrants and refugees in the U.S.  This includes a focused review of research illuminating the connection between structural stressors imposed by immigration status (e.g., undocumented, refugee or asylum, naturalized citizenship) and psychosocial wellbeing, educational outcomes, vocational development, and health disparities (e.g., health impact from COVID-19). Furthermore, the presentation will also highlight research studies and community narratives that demonstrate the strategies used by Latinx immigrants and refugees to actively cope with policy-based hostility. Recommendations will be offered for mental health service providers to support the wellbeing of Latinx immigrants and refugees in educational, mental health, and healthcare settings.



  • To identify the connection between immigration policy and psychological wellbeing of Latinx immigrants and refugees.
  • To identify coping strategies used by Latinx immigrants and refugees to respond to policy-based hostility.
  • To become familiar with actionable recommendations to support the wellbeing of Latinx immigrants and refugees.


Questions To Be Addressed:

  • Anti-immigrant policy is linked to detrimental psychological wellbeing among Latinx immigrants and refugees: TRUE
  • Engaging in activism can exposed Latinx immigrants and refugees to risky conditions that worsen their mental health: FALSE
  • Mental health service providers can support Latinx immigrants and refugees by embracing therapeutic approaches that support their empowerment and community engagement: TRUE


Module 2: Advocating for Humane Immigration Policy and Preventing Harm: Strategies for Mental Health Providers (September 29)

Presenters: Germán Cadenas & Beatriz Suro

Extant research and community narratives have documented the myriad of ways in which anti-immigrant policies are harmful to the wellbeing of Latinx immigrants, including those who are undocumented, recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and refugees. This context calls for mental health service providers to intervene on a systemic level to address the conditions that foster trauma and distress. This presentation will review a model for collaborative advocacy that may be used by mental health service providers to join with Latinx immigrants and refugees and pursue humane immigration policies. This model was developed by a collaborative of several Divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Latinx Psychological Association (NLPA), and community immigrant rights organizations across the country. Examples will be provided to demonstrate how mental health professionals are collaborating with community activists, educators, and policymakers on advocacy at the local, state, and national levels.



  • To become familiar with emergent models of immigration advocacy designed for mental health providers.
  • To become familiar with emerging research regarding immigration and refugee advocacy competency development among mental health providers.
  • To identify examples for implementing advocacy competencies and strategies to support the wellbeing of Latinx immigrants and refugees.




Registrants who fully attend the sessions of this series will receive certificates of attendance. Certificates will be provided by the hosting agency, IRESA.





Germán Cadenas, PhD

Dr. Germán A. Cadenas (he/his/el) is a formerly undocumented immigrant of Latin American ancestry. He identifies as a scholar-activist who has been involved in the movement for immigrant rights for over a decade. His academic work is community-based and focuses on the psychology of immigration and on critical consciousness as a tool for social justice. He has published in outlets such as Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Latinx Psychology, and Educational Researcher. His work has been externally funded and has informed policy and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. He completed a PhD in Counseling Psychology at Arizona State University, and a Doctoral Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at Lehigh University, and he serves as Vice President for Diversity and Public Interest in the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17 of the American Psychological Association


Raquel Sosa, Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Lehigh University

Raquel Sosa (she/her/ella) is a daughter of Mexican immigrants and identifies as Chicana. She is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Lehigh University in PA and she serves as the Programming Chair for the Pennsylvania Psychological Association of Graduate Students. Her research focuses on the roles of ethnic identity and campus climate in Latinx college student mental health. Raquel's research interests are heavily tied to her personal values and life experiences. As a first-generation college student, she is passionate about using research para la raza to lift their voices and experiences and to use it as a tool of resistance to enact change in their lives.


Beatriz Suro, Doctoral Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Lehigh University

Beatriz Suro (she/her/ella) was born in Puerto Rico. She has engaged in different clinical and research experiences and has been committed to building relationships with resilient communities in Puerto Rico, El Paso, Texas and in the Lehigh Valley that have inspired her to do research in various fields. She is a scholar that has devoted her academic and professional career to conducting research in both health psychology and counseling psychology. She identifies as a social justice researcher that strives to engage in research that can serve as a powerful tool to enact change at the individual, group, and systemic level. Her research interests include addictive behaviors, HIV prevention, immigration, multicultural competencies, and social justice advocacy. Her work has been published in various scholarly journals including Journal of Latinx Psychology, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of Community Psychology, Training and Education in Professional Psychology. She is a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at Lehigh University. This year, she will be completing her pre doctoral health psychology internship at the New Jersey Veteran Affairs Medical Center





The Great Lakes A/MH/PTTC is offering this training for individuals working in HHS Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI. This training is being provided in response to a need identified by Region 5 stakeholders.



Starts: Sep. 15, 2022 12:00 pm
Ends: Sep. 29, 2022 4:00 pm
Registration Deadline
September 29, 2022
Event Type
Webinar/Virtual Training
Hosted by
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