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Kalina Brabeck is a Professor in Mental Health Counseling in the Department of Counseling, Educational Leadership, and School Psychology at Rhode Island College and a Staff Psychologist at Lifespan/Rhode Island Hospital. She is also affiliated faculty with the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College. Her research explores the intersections among sociostructural inequities (e.g., unauthorized immigration status, discrimination), trauma, and mental health. For the past ten years, with funding from the Foundation for Child Development and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, her research has focused on how immigration policies and enforcement affect the well-being of Latino immigrant children, families, and communities.
Dr. Brabeck also conducts clinical work with immigrant adults and families and conducts mental-health evaluations and expert testimony for immigration court. She received her PhD in counseling psychology in 2006 and a master’s degree in educational psychology in 2003, both from The University of Texas Austin.
This study explores the relationship between immigration enforcement and the mental health of Latino high school students, finding that majorities surveyed in both high- and low-enforcement environments reported fear that someone close to them could be deported, with resulting symptoms of conditions such as depression and PTSD. The report provides examples of how schools are responding to support the mental health and engagement of these students.