Using the PEERS program to decrease isolation among elderly refugees in Worcester, MA

Title: Using the PEERS program to decrease isolation among elderly refugees in Worcester, MA

Author: Goldner, Deanna

Date: May 2013

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

This paper explores the problem of isolation of elderly refugees in Worcester, Massachusetts. It also looks at the role resettlement agencies play in that isolation. To explore the status of the city of Worcester, the study analyzed mental health programs for refugees in the United States and outlined the best practices and gaps in services for refugees suffering from mental illness. The author highlights the challenges of western based diagnosis and perceptions of mental illness in a multicultural context. The report concludes that an expanded PEERS program (Program to Enhance Elderly Refugee Services) will be most effective in combating elderly isolation and providing positive mental health outcomes with elderly clients in Worcester.

Keywords: refugees, mental health, suicide, multicultural, PEERS, geriatric health

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

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