Project SHIFA (Supporting the Health of Immigrant Families and Adolescents) was first launched in the fall of 2007 as a way to provide culturally appropriate mental health care for Somali youth and their families.
SHIFA means health in Somali. Somalis are one of the largest groups of refugees resettled in Massachusetts and across the United States. Countless Somali youth and their families experienced war and violence prior to resettlement and continue to face ongoing acculturative and resettlement stress. Some go on to develop mental health problems related to trauma and stress; however, cultural and practical barriers have led to very few of them receiving mental health services.
Project SHIFA seeks to diminish these barriers to care and help Somali youth, and the communities they are a part of thrive. Community-wide acceptance of the program has led to active parent involvement and 100% engagement in treatment among youth referred for services. Preliminary results show that the program is highly successful in increasing access, reducing mental health symptoms, and supporting academic success.
This site provides you with information pertaining to the project, the outcomes and how you can help these important efforts, or contact us with any questions you may have.