Supporting Afghan Refugees
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in over 30 thousand Afghans evacuating to the United States.
Saida Abdi, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work in the College of Education and Human Development, provides expert comment on supporting Afghan refugees as they relocate to the United States.
Saida Abdi, Ph.D.
"The arrival of new Afghan evacuees offers us an opportunity to reconceptualize the reception and resettlement of refugee and immigrant children and families. Research shows that the context of reception matters to the long-term psychological well-being of immigrants and refugees. Suppose we create a social environment that does not trigger or retraumatize individuals and is inclusive, trauma-informed, culturally relevant. In that case, we can support evacuees and find a true "refuge" where they can heal from the past traumas and build successful futures. In other words, we can help them find a true safe haven."
Saida M. Abdi, PhD, LICSW is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work in the College of Education and Human Development. As a clinical social worker and an expert in refugee trauma and resilience, Saida’s area of focus is building individual, family and community resilience along with improving the responsiveness of systems of care to the needs of refugee and immigrant communities. She trains and consults nationally and internationally with organizations that provide mental health services for refugees and immigrants.
University Relations | Rachel Cain
About the College of Education and Human Development
The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) strives to teach, advance research and engage with the community to increase opportunities for all individuals. As the third largest college on the Twin Cities campus, CEHD research and specialities focus on a range of challenges, including: educational equity, teaching and learning innovations, children’s mental health and development, family resilience, and healthy aging. Learn more at cehd.umn.edu.