Inclusion & Change Group, Scholar
"I am not defined by my immigration status. I am a human being with dreams and goals."
Immigrants Rising’s Wellness Support Groups help undocumented young people stay grounded and connected to community.
These 6-week Wellness Support Groups led by trained mental health providers or registered clinicians, are designed to help undocumented people feel less alone and more understood. The weekly virtual sessions are closed; meaning that advance registration is required, with the goal of creating a confidential space where 10-12 participants can feel grounded, find community, and share their unique experiences, challenges, and successes with one another. Note: though participation can be therapeutic, the groups are not a form of therapy.
Being LGBTQ in a heteronormative society isn’t easy, and it can be more challenging when you are from a culture that is not accepting of your identity. Add to the mix the pressures of being undocumented, and you have yourself an intersectional identity that can be ripe for distress! This group is open to all individuals who identify as LGBTQ seeking a safe space. Over the six weeks, we will share stories that can be mirrored and validated, discuss relevant issues facing our community, and build community in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. The themes discussed throughout the six weeks will be determined by the participants, so anyone who is LGBTQ can join and show up as you are.
Jin S. Kim, MA, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist working in a private practice out of Los Angeles, California. Jin spent ten years working in the Silicon Valley tech industry and his own experience managing mental illness, along with the unique challenges of navigating the world as a gay, lifelong stutterer, and first generation Korean American, led him to find his next career calling as a therapist. Jin enjoys working to empower and uplift LGBTQ folks, people of color, and those who find themselves at the intersection of various identities. His experience as a person with intersecting identities has influenced his strength-centered and affirmative approach. He has clinical experience working with a diverse population, from LGBTQ youth and adults to single mothers experiencing homelessness and managing dual diagnosis mental health issues.
Dates: 6 consecutive Mondays beginning on October 11, 2021
Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET
Life with an undocumented status means facing uncertainty on a daily basis and noticing how it impacts many aspects of life. In this group, we will collectively discuss the different ways that uncertainty affects life, relationships, and wellbeing for each participant. As a group, we will also have an opportunity to reflect on experiences confronting uncertainty in the past and present. We will make space to connect, support, and learn from one another throughout the group process. The facilitator will introduce and guide participants through coping strategies and relaxation techniques that can be utilized at any point.
Nidya Ramirez Ibarra is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who practiced at a non-profit organization for the past 8 years as Bilingual Staff Therapist with many Spanish-speaking undocumented immigrant families, individuals, and children who have suffered intimate partner violence and sexual abuse. Recently, Nidya transitioned into working as part of the Mobile Crisis Response Team in San Diego County. Until recently, Nidya lived with an undocumented status for 32 years. As an immigrant and a former community organizer, she entered the mental health field aware of how emotional, societal, and psychological well being intersect in the lives of individuals and families.
In 2020, Nidya co-founded the UndocuTherapist Network with Martha Melendrez to build community amongst individuals living with an undocumented status in the mental health field.
Dates: 6 consecutive Fridays beginning on October 15, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:10 p.m. PT / 4:00 – 5:10 p.m. ET
There are 1.7 million undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander (API) immigrants in the U.S., with the vast majority living in California. However, the phrase “undocumented immigrant” often evokes imagery and services intended specifically for the Latinx community. As a result, the diverse needs and identities of the API community are commonly overlooked. This group is a place for API individuals to come together to hear and be heard, sharing stories that express each person’s unique experience and culture. Through thoughtful questions and prompts, we will build the strength of community that comes from recognizing common values, empathizing with familiar pressures, and finding comfort in our shared humanity.
Lina Hannigan, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and wellness coach in private practice. She earned her doctorate degree at Alliant International University, specializing in health psychology. She received extensive training in primary care behavioral medicine and chronic pain management at UCSF/SFGH and Kaiser Permanente, integrating the physical and mental domains to optimize health. As a Japanese American whose parents were immigrants, Lina grew up navigating between cultures. She worked as an English teacher in a small town in Hokkaido, Japan, before going to graduate school with a commitment to serve the API community. She is a member of NichiBei Care, providing services to Japanese-speaking individuals, and Frontline Workers Counseling Project, providing pro-bono services during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is proud to be a volunteer therapist at Immigrants Rising.
Dates: 6 consecutive Mondays beginning on October 18, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 12:50 p.m. PT / 3:00 – 3:50 p.m. ET
Please contact our Mental Health Team at email@example.com for more information.