Developing advisory boards within community-based participatory approaches to improve mental health among refugee communities

Alisa B. Miller, Osob M. Issa, Emily Hahn, Naima Y. Agalab, Saida M. Abdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Community-based participatory approaches to research and intervention with ethnically and racially diverse minority groups demonstrate great promise to address health disparities. Refugees as a group have experienced a disproportionate amount of trauma, experience on-going resettlement and acculturative stressors, and have been shown to be at a heightened risk for psychological distress. Objective: This article aims to extend current knowledge by examining best practices for use of community advisory boards (CABs) and youth advisory boards (YABs) to achieve mental health equity among refugee communities. Methods: In order to improve outcomes in refugee com-munities, public health and mental health research and interventions should aim to engage refugees as active partners on advisory boards. Employing trauma-informed care principles through cultural humility, authentic engagement and power-sharing, recognition of the stigma of mental illness and mental health care, respect for community norms and preferences, and acknowledgement of acculturative and generational differences within refugee communities epito-mize best practices in establishing and maintaining meaningful community advisory boards. Conclusions: Inclusion of trauma-informed CABs community adult and YABs in refugee mental health research and interventions ensures that the work is relevant and meaningful to those who are intended to benefit from these efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Johns Hopkins University Press.


  • Community Advisory Boards
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Mental Health
  • Refugees
  • Trauma-informed


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