Experience Hope Newsletter July 2018

35 Resources to Help Immigrant Families and Support Other Communities in Need

Long after the headlines fade, more than 2,300 immigrant children separated from their parents will still need compassion, support, and legal assistance. The splintering of families can irreparably damage the mental health of children, even after they’ve been reunited, according to the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Below, we offer resources to help families who’ve been separated at the U.S. border and to support immigrants closer to home.

We are also sharing information in observance of July as National Minority Mental Health Month and July 30th as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.  In all, you’ll find 35 resources to assist and empower communities that are traditionally underserved.

As an easy first step, please take one minute to sign this petition in support of Claire’s House, a therapeutic living community for children who have been trafficked for sex.  A program of Catholic Charities of the East Bay, Claire’s House is a home of genuine love, hope and healing for vulnerable youth (see below for training to learn more about sex trafficking).

Your individual actions will make a difference, whether it is signing a petition, donating money, volunteering or just spreading the word.  Please feel free to forward this email to others who might be willing to help.

Experience Hope Upcoming Trainings:

Mental Health First Aid training seeks to empower community members to respond compassionately and directly when someone experiences a mental health challenge. In addition, Catholic Charities’ Mental Health First Aid facilitators take pride in adding restorative and culturally-aware ideas and discussions into these trainings. We offer Mental Health First Aid training focused on adult and adolescent mental health. This training can be offered in Spanish or English.

Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are offered free of charge thanks to a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Adult Mental Health First Aid courses area only $95 and include meals and all materials.

Click here for a list of our upcoming trainings.


To learn more about human trafficking in the East Bay, register for Day Star Training.  The two-hour class addresses the fundamental issues that create and perpetuate Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Human Trafficking in the greater Bay Area and Oakland.  The training takes place each Monday night in July, and childcare and snacks are provided.

Check out our revamped webpage for up-to-date Mental Health First Aid information and training dates:

In the News:

Ivan Villaseñor Madriz and Aswad Aarif of Catholic Charities of the East Bay are among the staff featured in a YouTube video describing the positive impact of Restorative Practices programs on school and community.

Do You Know about these Resources...

To Help Reunite Immigrant Children with their Families:

Catholic Charities of the East Bay has provided qualified immigration legal services to people seeking legal status in the United States for decades.  Since 2014, Catholic Charities has helped hundreds of unaccompanied minors.  While continuing to provide legal services in the East Bay, Catholic Charities will be sending a small group from our legal team to assist where needed at the border.  We recognize that a sustained effort of legal assistance over the long term is required to address the situation created by family separation.

Catholic Charities of the East Bay is also the lead partnering organization in Stand Together Contra Costa, a coalition dedicated to supporting safety and justice for immigrant families in Contra Costa County.  You can sign up to volunteer and donate.

Stand Together Contra Costa has put together information to help families fearing deportation.  Included is:

The international outcry over separating children from their parents has generated these media stories listing ways to help immigrant families:

“Here’s a List of Organizations Mobilizing to Help Immigrant Children Separated from their Families

The American Bar Association (ABA) Journal published the article, “Want to Help at the Border? ABA Groups Offer Avenues to Donate Time and Money” for attorneys who want to get involved.  The ABA also shares how law students can help.

The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network summarizes the policy that resulted in the separation of families, provides resources to help immigrants and gives an update on the GOP’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Families Belong Together is a coalition of agencies working to raise awareness of and advocate for change to the policy of separating children from their parents along the U.S. border with Mexico as well as protesting the conditions in which these children are kept.

Other Ways to Help Local Immigrant Communities:

RYSE Youth Center of Richmond offers more than three dozen local and national resources on its webpage, #FamiliesBelongTogether, and Families Must be Free.”

First Five Contra Costa’s “Resources for Immigrant Children and Families” includes information on helping children cope, safe places and sanctuaries, legal rights and emergency planning.

To Provide Mental Health Support to Communities of Color

Mental Health America offers specific resources for individual communities of color, including Latino/Hispanic, African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Native American and LGBTQ.  The information includes mental health statistics, prevalence, treatment and other sources of help.  MHA also provides more than two dozen links to Spanish language resources on such topics as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder (scroll to the bottom third of the page).

Touchstone Mental Health devotes a webpage to National Minority Mental Health Month and provides links to mental health resources for specific communities, including African-American, Native-American, Latino/Hispanic and Asian-American.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s “Behavioral Equity” webpage provides mental health resources for underserved communities.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers the fact sheet, “Finding Mental Health Care that Fits Your Cultural Background.” The organization also developed “Compartiendo Esperanza: Speaking With Latinos About Mental Health,” a presentation that volunteers can conduct in the community after signing up with NAMI.


The African American fraternity Omega Psi Phi created the campaign “Brother, You’re on my Mind” toolkit to help black men talk about their mental health challenges.

Organizations offering resources to the Muslim community include:

The Institute for Muslim Mental Health

The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Mental Health 4 Muslims

Amala – Muslim Youth Hopeline 1-855-952-6252 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 pm to 10 pm PST


To Combat and Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking:

As noted earlier under Experience Hope Training, you can learn more about human trafficking in the East Bay, by registering for Day Star Training.  The two-hour class addresses the fundamental issues that create and perpetuate Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Human Trafficking in the greater Bay Area and Oakland. The training takes place each Monday night in July, and childcare and snacks are provided.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) created the Blue Heart Campaign to draw attention to human trafficking.  UNODC provides these materials to help promote World Day against Trafficking in Persons (after clicking on the link, scroll to the bottom of the page).

The U.S. State Department provides “15 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking,” and the website The Daily Muse offers “Take Action: 7 Ways to Join the Fight against Human Trafficking.”

“Human Trafficking” and “Smuggling of Migrants” knowledge portals offer databases of case law, legislation and abstracts of articles and publications.

“World Day against Trafficking in Persons, July 30” is a United Nations webpage that offers background and resources.  Included is a link to “Global Report on Trafficking Persons,” a 126-page document first published in 2016.

Toolkit of the Month:

Family Preparedness Plan: Preparing your Family for Immigration Enforcement

This resource provides comprehensive guidelines that parents can use to establish a plan of action in the heart-breaking event that they’re separated from their children.  Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy developed the toolkit, which includes gathering of important documents, establishing a childcare plan and appointing a power of attorney and a standby guardian of children (actual forms of the latter are provided). Also included are templates for documenting schools, daycare providers, medical history, food preferences, bedtime routines, and for older youth, drivers’ license numbers, among other information. Some of the resources are specific to Connecticut, but most are universal, including the rights a person has when interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The guide is available in Arabic, English, French, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese. Scroll to the bottom of this webpage to download in other languages.