On December 7th, NYHealth hosted a webinar with Sebastian Junger, journalist, author, and filmmaker; Molly Carr, executive director, Jewish Family Services of Western New York; and Derek Coy, program officer, New York Health Foundation, to discuss the resettlement of Afghan evacuees in New York State.

In August 2021, U.S. armed forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan to officially end the war, leaving behind a humanitarian crisis. More than 120,000 Afghans have fled the country and a total of 75,000 Afghan evacuees are expected to arrive in the United States—with 1,300 expected to be resettled in New York State.

Years of war and conflict take an enormous toll on an individual’s physical and mental health. According to the International Red Cross, people living in conflict-affected areas are three times more likely to experience mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Providing Afghan refugees with the health and mental health services they need as part of their resettlement will be a massive and complex undertaking. Resettlement agencies must now simultaneously rebuild their organizational capacity after years of disinvestment, navigate complex bureaucratic systems, and deliver crucial services to incoming refugees.

Panelists discussed the enduring effects of trauma, the need for health and mental health services, and the challenges faced by resettlement agencies to meet the needs of Afghan evacuees in New York State and nationally.

See the webinar recording here.

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