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B. Heidi Ellis is Director of the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She studies refugee youth mental health, with a particular emphasis on understanding trauma exposure, violence, and how the social context impacts developmental trajectories.
For more than a decade she has built a community-based participatory research program with Somali refugees. Through this research program she has investigated the role of discrimination in refugee youth mental health, and developed and evaluated a school-based mental health intervention for Somali refugee youth.
Dr. Ellis received her B.A. from Yale University, her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine.
Somali and Bhutanese refugees are two of the largest groups recently resettled in the United States and Canada. This report examines factors that might promote or undermine the mental health and overall well-being of children of these refugees, with regard to factors such as past exposure to trauma, parental mental health, educational attainment, social support, and discrimination.