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State Letter #05-16

Refugee Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit

Published: July 23, 2005
State Letter


FROM: Nguyen Van Hanh, Ph.D.
Office of Refugee Resettlement

SUBJECT: Refugee Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the publication of a Refugee Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit. The toolkit provides guidelines for developing and implementing community health/mental health programs. It includes a three-part manual, a training guide & PowerPoint slides, an article on health promotion and disease prevention, an introductory video, and a compact disk which contains an electronic version of the entire manual. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provided the funding and the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)/Refugee Mental Health Program (RMHP) managed the development and publication of the toolkit.

Along with the toolkit, there is a recently published Annotated Bibliography Refugee Mental Health that may be of interest to you. You may order hardcopies by calling 1-800-789-2647 and requesting either the toolkit alone (#SVP-0116), bibliography alone (#SVP-0115), or a package containing both the toolkit and the bibliography (#SVP05-0115K).

The toolkit was developed as a resource of our national refugee health & well-being initiative entitled, "Points of Wellness: Partnering for Refugee Health & Well-Being." This initiative was launched to help develop and implement health/mental health promotion and disease prevention activities and programs within refugee communities. It particularly targets Mutual Assistance Associations (MAAs) and other faith-based and community-based organizations. The initiative is a collaborative effort of three U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) partners -- ORR, SAMHSA/RMHP, and the HHS Office of Global Health Affairs (OGHA).

This initiative does not include a new discretionary grant program, nor will it redirect funds from existing grants programs. It is an approach to health and mental health that aims to increase awareness and interest in health promotion and disease prevention programs targeting refugees, and provide information and tools to assist organizations in related activities and services. Overall, Points of Wellness aims to:

  • Transform the manner in which we conceptualize, prioritize and address the health and well-being of refugees resettled in the U.S.
  • Promote a holistic approach to refugee health & well-being.
  • Provide more information about the strength and resilience of refugees, then honor these factors and promote them as protective factors in preventive and treatment programs.
  • Increase the health and well-being of high risk refugee populations in the United States.
  • Develop the capacity of MAAs to partner with other public and private refugee and health service agencies, to better address refugee health issues.

Points of Wellness objectives are being met by:

  • Providing technical assistance on how to develop, fund, manage and implement health promotion and disease prevention partnerships and programs.
  • Encouraging the development and implementation of community mental health- public health modalities of improving or maintaining good physical and mental health thru primary, secondary and tertiary prevention interventions. *
  • Supporting systems of care that promote good physical and mental health in an integrated seamless way.

For further information, please contact any of the following Points of Wellness representatives:

Last Reviewed: May 13, 2019
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