News and Updates
Save the Date! World Refugee Day 2013
On Saturday June 22, 2013 World Refugee Day will be held at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. The day will begin with a Fun Run at 8:30 AM followed by the Festival at 10:00 AM. More information will be available soon but for now please see the flyer below for more information. We hope to see you there!
Love UT Give UT
On March 22, 2013 UHHR joined over 500 different non-profits and schools to participate in Love UT Give UT, our state's first, annual online day of giving. Organized by the Community Foundation of Utah, Love Ut Give UT was designed with the intention to raise money from the community for the community. During the day, 6,521 unique individuals donated $633,533 to the organizations of their choice. Thanks to 15 generous supporters of UHHR, we raised $756! Thank you to everyone who participated.
Reflections on Resistance
On February 27, 2013, Jen Marlowe of Amnesty International will give a presentation on the politicaland social components of humanrights abuses around the world.Jen is a human rights activist, filmmaker, and playwright who has traveled across the world, capturing the reality of resistance through creative media. Her presentation will focus on her first-hand account of the uncovered Arab Spring in Bahrain, genocide in Darfur, and the death penalty abolition movement in Georgia. A dynamic speaker, Jen effectively communicates the backdrop of each respective issue and the resulting impact on those affected. The event will be held at the Salt Lake City Public Library, Conference Room B, from 7:00 -8:00 pm.
Love UT Give UT
What if you could shape the future of Utah in a single day? On March 22, 2013 you can!
Love UT Give UT will bring together Utahns for 24 hours of unprecendented online giving. It's one extraordinary day to support the organizations that make Utah special. And it's your chance to make a real impact.
Point. Click. Donate. Awesome!
View UHHR's page for Love UT Give UT
UHHR is Looking for Volunteers
UHHR now has two exciting opportunities for interested volunteers! We are looking for a Medical Case Management Volunteer to assist our clinical staff and medical staff in advocating for our clients. Additionally, we are looking for volunteer drivers to take UHHR clients to critcal mental health, medical and group therapy appointments. Whether you are looking to build up your resume or simply get more involved in the community, you can be sure that you will be making a huge difference in the lives of our clients.
NCTTP Holds 5th Annual Research Symposium
Follow this link to view a breakdown of the symposium schedule:
Dr. Rabin, 2012 Jewish Family Service Honoree
UHHR is excited to announce that medical director, Dr. Mara Rabin, is being honored by Jewish Family Service (JFS) for her commitment to social justice and her ongoing work to support refugees and survivors of human rights abuses.
Follow this link to hear Dr. Rabin and the executive director of JFS, Ellen Silver, speak about the Hebrew phrase tikkun olam, meaning "to repair the world" and how this core Jewish believe is reflected in their own work. Courtesy of KCPW City Views.
KRCL RadioActive features interview with UHHR client and executive director, Jocelyn Romano
Follow this link to hear one refugee's story of fleeing his home in Iraq and his experience of receiving help from UHHR, after arriving in Utah.
Utah center expands options for treating chronic pain
story featured on HealTorture.org
It was a common scenario at Utah’s Health and Human Rights.
A client would come in complaining of pain in their joints and their neck, and additional pain medication wasn’t helping. Their doctor had told them the pain’s root was psychological, not physical—a tough diagnosis for the client to accept.
But clinical director and therapist Brent Pace didn’t have answers either. He wished he had something to offer beyond the traditional treatments.
That all changed when the Salt Lake City center started bringing in psychiatrists and massage therapists on a regular basis to treat clients psychologically and physically.
“It’s interesting how the relationship to our organization changes when they know that we’re willing to try anything that helps,” he said. “We have this other option that I think takes things to a completely different level in terms of my relationships with the clients because I feel like I’m meeting their needs.”
Treating clients holistically is part of the center’s philosophy, Pace said, and that includes ensuring that each client has a primary care physician regardless of insurance coverage. Staff members at the Utah center work with clients’ doctors throughout the course of treatment, he said, and even work in the community to build the capacity of other agencies and health professionals that treat survivors of torture.
Grant money from a local health organization funds the psychiatry clinic, held twice per month at the center, Pace said, and 77 clients have been to see a psychiatrist there. Having the clinic on site allows the clinic’s therapists to talk with the doctors, and helps the clients feel more comfortable about seeing a psychiatrist. Most clients are prescribed medications that address both chronic pain and mood stabilization, he said.
“It’s been a very successful and helpful addition to our program,” he said.
Volunteer massage therapists come into the clinic two to three times each week, Pace said, and their results have been impressive.
One man who couldn’t lift his arms over his head before starting massage therapy said his range of motion increased dramatically, Pace said. Fifty-eight clients have been to one of the therapists thus far.
Massage therapy has been especially beneficial to those who’ve experienced torture and abuse. “It’s been very effective for clients who’ve experienced sexual trauma to have this safe kind of touch that’s reintroduced into their lives,” he said.
Massage therapy is also a great alternative to pain medications due to their risk of dependence. “If I can avoid that particular issue by having massages as an option, I feel really lucky,” he said.
A newer option at the center, available for less than a year, is acupuncture, provided by a volunteer offsite.
It’s just one more way the center is trying to address the holistic needs of its clients.
“All of those things are helpful for our clients to have options other than talk therapy and case management,” he said. “We try a lot of different things.”