Program Descriptions

Immigrant/Refugee Wellness Academy (IRWA) is a free training program designed to empower and prepare Philadelphia's multilingual/multicultural immigrants and refugees with knowledge, resources, and tools necessary to engage in activities that address behavioral health and intellectual disability challenges, trauma, and inequity experienced within the immigrant and refugee community.

Program Goals

1. Create opportunities for immigrant and refugee communities to access behavioral health and leadership development trainings to:
  • Increase behavioral health and intellectual disability knowledge and awareness
  • Reduce the stigma associated with behavioral health and intellectual disability
  • Promote access to behavioral and intellectual disability resources and services
  • Create a cohort of trainers to facilitate behavioral health and leadership trainings with linguistic and cultural expertise

2. Create employment opportunities to diversify the behavioral health and Intellectual disabilities workforce to:
  • Conduct community outreach and education to promote behavioral health and intellectual disability knowledge and awareness
  • Provide language and cultural appropriate support and referral services for immigrant/refugee and special populations
  • Enhance economic and equitable inclusion for Minority/Women/Disabled-owned Business Enterprises (MWDSBE) providers and subcontractors

Program Targets

The program is geared toward multilingual/multicultural staff and volunteers of immigrant and refugee serving organizations; community, faith, and spiritual leaders; and students with the following criteria:
  • 18 and older
  • Proficient in English and other language(s) preferred
  • Able to commit to complete the program
Program Implementation Timelines 

From March 22 to May 24, this program consists of an orientation and nine courses on knowledge- and skill-based training delivered weekly. Most sessions are about two hours, though some will be longer.

Sessions will be delivered virtually and are designed to promote better understanding of behavioral health and intellectual disability challenges, signs, and symptoms. These live, interactive sessions are designed to reinforce collaborative learning through presentations, discussions, and activities that encourage meaningful dialogue and allow participants to leverage their strengths and knowledge to build personal and community resilience and wellness.

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