Hyojin Im, Ph.D.
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
B.A., Chung-Ang University
Hyojin Im,Ph.D, assistant professor, is interested in promoting health capitals, mental health and psychosocial support of refugee and immigrant communities, both local and international, by building community capacity for culturally-responsive services and trauma-informed interventions. 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 grounded 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) modules that are 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. Currently, she continues to assess and scale up the trauma-informed intervention programs, partnering with International Rescue Committee (IRC), The Women’s Initiative (TWI), and state offices.
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)
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 (2017)
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
Im, H., Ferguson, A.B., & Hunter, M. (2017 - Accepted). Cultural Translation of Refugee Trauma: Cultural Idioms of Distress among Somali Refugees in Displacement. Accepted to Transcultural Psychiatry.
Im, H., Ferguson, A.B., Warsame, A.H., & Isse, M.M. (2017 - Accepted). Mental Health Risks and Stressors Faced by Urban Refugees: Perceived Impacts of War and Community Adversities among Somali Refugees in Nairobi. Accepted to International Journal of Social Psychiatry.
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.
Im, H. (2016). Towards Trauma-Informed Refugee Resettlement: Virginia State-Wide Refugee Mental Health Orientation Training. Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
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.
Shannon, P., McCleary, J., Wieling, E., Im, H., Becher, E., & O’Fallon, A. (2015). Exploring Mental Health Screening Feasibility and Training of Refugee Health Coordinators. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies,13(1), 80-102.
Im, H. (2014). Trauma-Informed Cross-Cultural Psychoeducation (TI-CCP): Mental Health Training for Refugee Community Leaders & Mental Health Care Providers (Interactive Training Manual). 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.
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.