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Hyojin Im, Ph.D.

Assistant professor

Email: him@vcu.edu

Phone: (804) 828-2607

Postdoctorate, University of California - Berkeley
Ph.D., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
M.S.W., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
M.A., Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea
B.A., Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea

Hyojin Im, Ph.D., is interested in promoting mental health and psychosocial support for refugee and immigrant communities, both local and international, by building community capacity and partnership for culturally-responsive services and trauma-informed care. She is also passionate about linking local and global practices and policies for seamless refugee programs and sustainable interventions.

Im has extensive experiences working with culturally diverse, trauma-affected communities in various settings. Working with the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), she participated in a project to develop culturally relevant screening and referrals for trauma-related mental health symptoms among newly resettled refugees in Minnesota. She was also involved in international capacity building activities, providing training on refugee mental health and monitoring & evaluation of psychosocial programs to local staff of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Malaysia, and humanitarian NGOs in Nairobi and Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya. While working at the Mack Center on Mental Health & Social Conflict, UC - Berkeley, she conducted a community participatory intervention project, Trauma-Informed Psycho-Education (TIPE), for Somali urban refugees in Nairobi, Kenya. In this USAID-funded work, she designed and implemented programs for refugee community leaders to establish and strengthen local capacity for trauma healing and social support systems for at-risk Somali youth displaced in urban setting. Supported by Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS), the TIPE intervention model was culturally adapted for the use in the context of the U.S., focusing further on cross-cultural competence and healthy adjustment of refugees to the host community, which turned into Trauma-Informed Cross-Cultural Psychoeducation (TI-CCP) training that is currently implemented by local agencies in Virginia and other states. Since joining VCU, she has been closely working with statewide refugee mental health programs, providing a multi-tiered model for refugee mental health services to guide stratified services and adequately respond to various refugee needs.

Learn more about Dr. Im's work on Research Gate and VCU News

 

Notable awards, honors and appointments

  • Mentor Award for Social Justice Fund with International Social Work Student Association, Division of Inclusive Excellence, VCU (2017)
  • Social Justice Award by VCU School of Social Work (2017)
  • Award for New Investigators Workshop for NIH’s Mental Health Service Research (MHSR) (2014)
  • Buckman Fellowship for Leadership in Philanthropy (2011)
  • Diversity in Action Award, Hennepin County, Minnesota (2010)
  • Best Student Abstract Award, University of Hong Kong & Joint International Conference of Social Work and Social Development (2010)
  • Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle Award (2010)

Recent and current funded projects

Principal Investigator (2017-18)
Trauma-Informed Care for Refugee Newcomers (Co-PI, Rosalie Corona, Psychology Dept.), Funded by VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund (PERQ) & Partnering with International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Consultant (2016- )
New Roots: Making Refugees Welcome through Building Community Food Places by International Rescue Committee (IRC), Funded by NoVo Foundation, “Promoting Local Living Economies” Grant

Consultant & Technical Advisor (2016-17)
Cross-Cultural Healing Partnership by The Women’s Initiative (TWI) & , Funded by Charlottesville Area Community Foundation Grant

Principal Investigator (2015-16)
Trauma-Informed Refugee Resettlement & Mental Health Training, Funded by Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS)

Principal Investigator (2015-16)
Dissemination of Refugee Healing Partnership Model & Cultural Navigator Certificate Program, Funded by Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS)

Principal Investigator (2014-2015)
Agri-culture: Growing food and community with Richmond refugees, Funded by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Community Engagement Grant

Principal Investigator (2014)
Trauma-Informed Psycho-Education Adjustment Group Curricula, Funded by Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS)

Principal Investigator (2012-13)
Eastleigh Youth Project - Trauma-Informed Psycho-Education for Youth at Risk, Funded by Kenya Transitional Initiative,  USAID – Kenya

Principal Investigator (2010-11)
Stress and Coping of Homeless Refugees in Twin Cities,  Innovation Research Grant by Annie E. Casey Foundation

Principal Investigator (2010-11).
Heading Home Hennepin: Solving Refugee Housing Issues in Twin Cities, Funded by Minnesota Family Housing Fund

Selected presentations

Im, H. & †Ray, B. (2018, June). Building Healthy Community: Community Wellness Workshops with Bhutanese, Afghani and Congolese Refugees in the U.S. Paper presented at the North American Refugee Health Conference, Portland, OR, US.

Im, H., & *Ferguson, A. (2017, January). Cultural Translation of Refugee Trauma: Cultural Idioms of Distress Among Somali Refugees in Displacement. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). New Orleans, LA, US.

Beattie, E., Bonz, A., Im, H., Northwood, A., & Boero, J. (December, 2016). Addressing the emotional health needs and trauma experiences of immigrants and refugees. National Immigrant Integration Conference, Nashville, TN, US.

Im, H., *Gaddy, J., & *Rosenberg, R. (2016, January). Building Cultural Health Capital in the Refugee Community: A Qualitative Participatory Evaluation of Community Health Workshops with Bhutanese Refugees. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). Washington DC. US.

Im, H. (November, 2014). Effectiveness of Trauma-Informed Peace Education for Mental Health in Somali Refugees. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA). New Orleans, LA, US.

Im, H. (July, 2014). An Interpretive Study of Meaning of Peace and Conflicts Among Somali Refugees in Kenya: Evaluation of Peace Education Programme in Dadaab Refugee Camp. Paper presented at the International Association for Studies on Forced Migration (IASFM). Bogotá, Colombia.

Im, H. (July, 2014). Protection under Chaos: Seeking Solutions for the Protracted Somali Refugee Situation in Kenya. Paper presented at the International Association for Studies on Forced Migration (IASFM). Bogotá, Colombia.

Im, H. (April, 2014). Trauma-Informed Psychoeducation for Refugee Mental Health. Poster presented at the Mental Health Services Research (MHSR) 2014 Conference by NHMH. Bethesda, MD, US.

Im, H. (November, 2013). Coping with Migration and Resettlement Distress among Marginalized Refugee Families in the U.S.: A Gap in Refugee Resettlement Policy. Poster presented at American Public Health Association (APHA), Boston, MA. US.

†King, R. & Im, H. (February 2011). Practice and Policy Implications from Refugee Housing Programs and Refugee Homelessness Research Project in Minnesota. Presented at the National Conference for Ending Family Homelessness, Oakland, CA, US.

(Note: * indicates student co-author and † indicates community partner co-author at time of writing)

Selected publications

Im, H. & *Swan, L.E.T. (2018 – In press). A Qualitative Exploration of Critical Health Literacy among Afghan and Congolese Refugees Resettled in the USA. Health Education Journal – Special Issue: Health Education and Migration. Advanced online publication.

Im, H. (2018). Constructing health capital in ecological systems: A qualitative evaluation of community-based health workshops in the refugee community. Health & Social Care in the Community, 26(4), e541-e551. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12568

Im, H., *Jettner, J.F., †Warsame, A.H., †Isse, M.M., *Khoury, D., & *Ross, A. (2018). Trauma-Informed Psychoeducation for Somali refugee youth in urban Kenya: Effects on PTSD and Psychosocial Outcomes. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-017-0200-x

Im, H., *Ferguson, A.B., & *Hunter, M. (2017). Cultural Translation of Refugee Trauma: Cultural Idioms of Distress among Somali Refugees in Displacement. Transcultural Psychiatry. 54(5-6), 626-652. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461517744989

Im, H., *Ferguson, A.B., †Warsame, A.H., & †Isse, M.M. (2017). Mental Health Risks and Stressors Faced by Urban Refugees: Perceived Impacts of War and Community Adversities among Somali Refugees in Nairobi. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 63(8), 686-693. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020764017728966

Im, H., & *Rosenberg, R. (2016). Building Social Capital Through a Peer-Led Community Health Workshop: A Pilot with the Bhutanese Refugee Community. Journal of Community Health, 41(3), 509-517. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-015-0124-z

Im, H., *Caudill, C., & *Ferguson, A.B. (2016). From Victim to Perpetrator of Trauma: Lived Experiences of Gang-Involved Urban Refugee Youth in Kenya. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 25(7), 753-771. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2016.1194939

Im, H. & Vatalaro-Hill, K. E. (2015). Community Health Workshop Manual: Community-Based Wellness Intervention Program for Refugee Community. Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Im, H. (2014). Trauma-Informed Cross-Cultural Psychoeducation (TI-CCP) Training: Interactive Training Manual for Refugee Community Leaders & Mental Health Care Providers. Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Shannon, P. J., Simmelink, J., Im, H., Becher, E., & Crook-Lyon, R. E. (2014). Exploring the experiences of survivor students in a course on trauma treatment. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6(S1), S107-S115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032715

Shannon, P., Im, H., Becher, E., Simmelink J., Wieling, E., & O’Fallon, A. (2012). Screening for war trauma, torture and mental health symptoms among newly arriving refugees: A national survey of state refugee health coordinators. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. 10 (4), 380-394. https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2012.674324

(Note: * indicates student co-author and † indicates community partner co-author at time of writing)