The challenges that refugees and migrants face when arriving to a new country are immense, particularly since many have fled large-scale conflict and displacement or poverty and violence. Once they have arrived in their host country, they must confront additional challenges such as navigating a new system and facing discrimination and prejudice at the hands of others. Previous trauma and sometimes re-traumatisation cause psychological distress and place an additional burden on integration. Intercultural competencies and psychosocial support are crucial when it comes to working with vulnerable individuals, especially taking into consideration the diversity of nationalities and cultures in dealing with the sensitive nature surrounding trauma.

This webinar will tackle these issues and discuss the current work being done in the field of psychosocial support and intercultural dialogue that supports the integration of refugees and migrants. Experts will also share best practices and potential recommendations of how future work can be more inclusive of both fields in the development of projects that foster the social cohesion of refugees and migrants with a focus on the European context.


Gugliemo Schinina

Head of IOM’s Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication Section- Global

Guglielmo Schinina is Head of the Global Section for Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication at the International Organization for Migration and co-directs the Summer School for Psychosocial Interventions in Migration, Emergency and Displacement at the Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa. In the last 25 years he has started up, managed, and supervised MHPSS programs for vulnerable migrants and victims of human trafficking, displaced and crisis affected populations, demobilized combatants and others in more than 70 countries worldwide, including in the Balkans, the Middle East, post-earthquake Haiti, East and West Africa, Europe and South America. Trained in Psychology and Social Communication, he is particularly passionate about community-based and culturally informed approaches to MHPSS and the use of creative expression for community mobilization and healing. He is the editor of several MHPSS tools including the IOM Manual on Community-Based MHPSS in Emergencies and Displacement. His latest publications are The Mental Health and Wellbeing of Migrants in the Context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in The Routledge Handbook of International Development, Mental Health and Wellbeing with Karoline Popp; and Il Discurso Sulla Migrazione Tra Oggettivazione e Abiettivazione in Vita e Pensiero, the Publishing House of the Catholic University of Milan.

Diana Rayes

PhD Student in Global Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Diana Rayes (MHS) is a PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she is specializing in the impact of conflict and displacement on refugee and migrant mental health and integration in host country contexts. Diana is a recipient of the Fulbright research fellowship to Germany (2018-19), where she led a study with the Charité University of Medicine in Berlin on the role of faith on the mental health and integration of recently displaced Syrian refugee adults. Diana is also a Nonresident Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, where she focuses on refugee and migrant health trends in the Middle East and North African region, and the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations across the region. Previously, Diana has consulted for the World Health Organization, the EU Delegation to Syria, the Lancet Commission on Syria, the World Refugee Council, and both Syrian and international NGOs on the humanitarian response effort in Syria. She has been published in the British Medical Journal, PLOS Medicine, and The Lancet and is a steering committee member of the Syrian Public Health Network.

Martha Bird

Chief Consortium Lead, IFRC Centre for Pyschosocial Support

Martha Bird is the Chief Consortium Lead of the IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support where she leads large scale international research and innovation engagements to develop knowledge and tools with and for European and global NGO’s, CSOs and universities. Martha works on a variety of topics that intersect with both mental health and psychosocial support, such as large-scale crisis management, scaling up psychological interventions for refugees – incl. Syrian refugees, cultural and contextual adaptation of interventions, integration and social inclusion, volunteerism and management of volunteers, training and training curricula development, and non-communicable disease. She works to bridge the gap between research and practice, using qualitative methods and data and co-creative, co-authorship approaches. Martha has an MA in global history and is a post graduate in global health. Her publications include both peer reviewed articles and several field handbooks and toolboxes.

Amina Khalid

Head of the Sustainable Communities Programme, Initiatives for Change

Amina Khalid has been working with Initiatives of Change for over 10 years where she currently is the Head of the Sustainable Communities Programme. She is also a Trustee for Somali Initiatives for Dialogue and Democracy (SIDD) as well as founder of Peace Begins at Home- an international inter-generational dialogue training created to empower and build bridges between the generations and policy makers. Amina is internationally trained in dialogue facilitation, mediation, communication and conflict resolution and has worked in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. She specialized in the Sociology of Medicine and Social Policy, in addition to a Masters in Equality and Diversity Policies. Her real passion lies in working with people of all backgrounds, ages, faiths to build bridges and unlock their full potential. In her role as an international advocate for peace she uses her language, public speaking and coaching skills to inspire, equip and connect individuals and organisations to become positive change agents.

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