“Partners for Refugee Empowerment (PRE), a 501(c) (3) charity, was started in early 2013 to address a critical unmet need – the mental health of Tarrant County refugees. At the time of PRE’s founding, all of the resettlement agencies were terminating their limited refugee mental health programs. PRE is currently the only Fort Worth agency to focus on the mental health needs of refugees.
“PRE has two primary goals: 1) to help refugees who have mental health challenges to recognize and address their needs and 2) to assist all refugees to become self-sufficient contributors to their communities as quickly as possible.
“Unfortunately, most theories, instruments, and projects in refugee mental health care have been developed in Western countries and cultures and are often implemented without the necessary adaptations to be effective. Drawing on many years of experience, PRE has developed an effective, three-component, mental health model for the refugees they currently serve. These components include: 1) group cultural orientation and education, 2) family mental health case management, and 3) mental health counseling and referral.
“Since its inception, PRE has served the mental health and cultural orientation needs for more than 200 refugees from central Africa and Bhutan. PRE aims to expand services to more refugee communities until the mental health needs of refugees in Tarrant County have been met.
“Apart from providing social services, PRE has distributed ten sewing machines to refugees who wanted to do small sewing projects. The sewing activities have both served as therapeutic means and the way of connecting refugees to refugees.
“On September 18, PRE is participating in North Texas Giving Day for the first time. We are excited to participate in this community-wide celebration of philanthropy and will use donations raised that day to continue providing mental health counseling for refugee families, and to support those who need extra help for case management. The raised money will also strengthen our community support groups, which are the backbone of the organization. These community support groups serve as a platform where refugees learn about how to adjust in the new country and how to become active members of the host communities.
“Thanks to all of the North Texas Giving Day donors and sponsors who make Giving Day a success!”
-By Justin Nsenga, MSc, Partners for Refugee Empowerment, Inc. Director