Refugees Northwest: Enhanced Mental Health Services for Asylees and Asylum Seekers


Grantee: Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Timeframe: July 2022 – June 2024 | Amount: $349,999

Year 1: July 2022 – June 2023. Amount: $150,000
Year2: July 2023 – June 2024. Amount: $199,999


300 unduplicated asylum seekers and humanitarian migrants in the King and Pierce County region will benefit from enhanced mental health services and/or increasing access to intensive case management services. Target population: Humanitarian migrants with severe mental health issues, and asylum seekers.

Because of the multiple sources and experiences of trauma from war, refugee camps, and the resettlement process itself, humanitarian migrants often enter services at a high level of care and require team-based services that include intensive and medical case management, peer support, and medication management and counseling. Currently, staff are going above and beyond to provide care to clients in the Slavic diaspora during this time of trauma in Ukraine. Social support groups are being held more frequently to accommodate needs.

This program will bridge the healthcare access and/or outcome disparity by (1) hiring 1 FTE Case Manager to connect 150 asylum seekers with resources to meet their basic needs and (2) establishing a counseling fund that improves the cultural relevance of counseling services for 200 humanitarian immigrants by providing 150 hours of community mentorship to English speaking clinicians.

Case Management for Asylum seekers to address gaps in access to income support and healthcare:

In addition to healing from trauma, asylum seekers must also establish a new life in the US while concurrently trying to meet basic needs, adjust to a new culture, and build community. To meet these needs LCSNW offers an Asylum Assistance Program (AAP). The program will be staffed by an additional 1 FTE case manager (TBH) and receive oversight from the Program Supervisor.  Clients are connected to wraparound services to support the following outcomes:
● Nutrition support: Access to State issued SNAP, referrals to onsite food, and diaper distribution.
● Right to work: Referrals to our immigration legal services to apply for or renew Employment Authorization Documents.
● Employment and Income: Access to privately funded rental, utility and move-in assistance, resume support, and connections to employers.
● State Family Assistance: Pregnant Women Assistance, resume assistance, links to employers.
● Physical health: Connecting with “charity care” or medical assistance through CHI Franciscan and HBMC. Access to the Children’s Health insurance Program (CHIP).
● Mental Health: Referrals to our in-house counseling and behavioral health program (see below).

Mental Health Counseling for immigrant populations to address gaps in culturally relevant mental health care:

The LCSNW Behavioral Health team is diverse and multilingual. However, given staffing constraints, it is not always possible to make a direct culture match. LCSNW will contract with three advanced clinicians with supervisory credentials and culturally/ linguistically specific life experience (from Afghanistan, Ukraine, or Somalia, for example) to provide 150 hours of consulting to the LCSNW behavioral health team. The contracting process will receive oversight from Clinical Director, Allison Taylor, who will be responsible for creating and maintaining outside partnerships.

About Our Grantee

Lutheran Community Services Northwest

Lutheran Community Services Northwest partners with individuals, families, and communities for health, justice and hope. Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) was founded in 1926 and offers programming in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. LCSNW  provides refugee resettlement, foster care, adoption, substance abuse treatment, sexual assault treatment, and behavioral health services. LCSNW serves over 80,000 people annually in the three-state area. In the North Puget Sound region, LCSNW programs focus on refugees, foster care, and family support.

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