LINCOLN, Neb. – A Nebraska school district has a new program to help refugee students deal with the trauma that made them flee their home countries.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports Lincoln Public Schools officials stepped in after the 2014 massacre by the Islamic State group in Sinjar, Iraq, devastated members of Lincoln’s Yazidi community.
Oscar Rios Pohirieth is a cultural specialist and coordinator for the
district’s bilingual liaison program. He says immigrant and refugee students in Lincoln increased by more than 50 percent over the past three years.
Last school year, therapists served nearly 50 refugees from 14 different schools through the program. Another 24 students are on a waiting list.
The district has interpreters work with therapists to get past language and cultural barriers, including any stigma about mental health.