Working with Refugees in the Community
Presenter: Teresa Dremetsikas, MD
Date: January 30, 2013
This presentation covers the following:
- Review of CCVT's programs for survivors of war and torture
- Dispel myths about the unique mental health needs of refugees fleeing violence in their home countries
- Outline the importance of community support in the rehabilitation process for victims of torture and war.
This presentation will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the Community Model at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT).
Understanding of the traumatic experience as a result of carefully thought-out strategies of oppression, with clearly defined goals is of paramount significance for the caregivers and more important for the survivor. Developing a meaning of the experience in the aftermath of torture is crucial in the rehabilitation process as well. With adequate assistance - medical, psychological, and appropriate legal support as well as a continuum of care at the community level, individuals are in a better position to process their experience and integrate them in their everyday life to be able to function again.
Teresa Dremetsikas graduated as a Medical Doctor from The University of Nuevo Leon in Mexico. She has been working for the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) for the past 24 years in the areas of: assessment, counselling, crisis intervention, development and facilitation of group therapy sessions and coordination of the settlement and volunteer programs. She is currently the program manager at CCVT, overseeing program research, design, implementation and evaluation. Teresa is active in public education, delivering training sessions on issues of torture, assessment of survivors and development of supportive strategies in institutions. She has delivered training for several organizations including CCVT staff, medical students, health/mental health professionals, social workers, educators and refugee and immigrant service agencies, Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) officers, Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) members, Pre Removal Risk Assessment Officers and newly-assigned Canadian Consular officers. She has made numerous presentations on the issue of torture locally, nationally and internationally.