Pathways to Wellness

605 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. • Portland, OR 97214 • Phone: (503) 731-9530 • E-Mail



Pathways to Wellness: Integrating Refugee Health and Well-being (Pathways)is an innovative project that identifies refugees with significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress and connects them to the care they need to heal.

The Pathways program in Portland is also working to help train health providers on how to effectively deliver services to refugee populations, and partners with refugee communities to better understand and address mental health issues. Pathways provides follow-up care through culturally appropriate counseling services and cultural-adjustment support groups for refugees and their families.

Pathways to Wellness supports the emotional well‐being of refugees by enhancing adjustment, increasing capacity for self‐sufficiency, and coordinating care through the primary health care system. Pathways is a pioneering effort linking mental and primary health care systems, and creating opportunities for better coordination and collaboration, resource sharing, and the emergence of more holistic best practices.

The Pathways program in Portland is committed to continue our partnership in the community to serve the mental health needs of new arrival refugees through a coordinated system of care and enhanced service delivery system. The Pathways project in Portland treasures the opportunity to create lasting change in how refugee mental health services are delivered in the region, and in the U.S as a whole.


photoPathways to Wellness was conceived in King County, Washington out of a collaboration with refugee communities and a renowned psychiatrist to create a culturally competent, short assessment that detects symptoms of anxiety and depression in refugee populations from different countries. After a rigorous year-long evaluation, the assessment was empirically proven to be reliable and effective, with 35% - 40% of people showing significant distress. The tool is now fully integrated into the physical health screening that every new refugee arrival receives.

The U.S. resettles more refugees than any other country in the world, with 70,000 to 80,000 refugees admitted annually. Because mental health screening is not a standard practice in refugee resettlement programs, the project targeted the development of an evidence-based tool that could be adapted to other resettlement locales. Pathways partners believe that integrating early detection and support for mental health problems into refugee resettlement, combined with culturally appropriate and effective treatment, reduces resettlement stress and accelerates the healing process.

Oregon resettles up to 1,000 refugees each year. Many of our new comers are Cuban, Iraqi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somalis, Iranian, Afghani, Congolese, and others from the former Soviet Republic States.


Refugee Health Screener-15 (RHS-15)

photoLCSNW in Portland in partnership with Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) has integrated this screening into the mandated physical health screening that all refugees undergo. Mid-County Health Center provides the primary medical screening for refugees and offers referral and treatment for immediate needs. The majority of refugees stay within MCHD system for primary care. Refugees who are positive on the mental health screening questionnaire are referred to LCS for centralized referral and care coordination. This results in early linkage to culturally appropriate behavioral health treatment.

Trainings for Social Service and Health Professionals

Training on refugee mental health topics and capacity building resources are available. Contact us if you would like more information.

Wellness and Adjustment Support Groups

  • Karen Women’s Weaving Group
  • Garden Support Group and Wellness Programing
  • New Arrival Adjustment Support Groups


Resource Directory

The Pathways to Wellness Portland program has compiled an easy-to-use resource directory which speaks specifically to the needs of refugee and immigrant populations. There are numerous culturally-specific, but often unknown, resources available in the Tri-metro area. We believe a directory will be a powerful tool for medical and direct-service providers, who could be instrumental in helping to connect some of the most vulnerable populations to the support they need. We also believe that increasing providers’ knowledge of these vital resources decreases ongoing health disparities that refugees and immigrants may face. The Resource Directory* is aimed at consolidating resources available to serve the needs of the refugee and immigrant community. We thank Multnomah Health Department for printing this Directory and for making it available for distribution in our community.

(1.5 mb adobe pdf)

bullet Preface
bullet Crisis & Emergency Numbers
bullet Resettlement Agencies
bullet Mental Health Care
bullet Medical Services
bullet Children, Youth, Adults, Families & Disability Services
bullet Ethnic Community Organizations
bullet Places of Worship
bullet Civic Engagement, Equity and Inclusion
bullet Housing
bullet English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes
bullet Citizenship Classes
bullet Employment, Training, & Other Educational Support
bullet Legal Assistance
bullet Interpreter & Medical Transportation Services
bullet Arts & Recreation
bullet Food Resources
bullet Clothing
bullet Useful Websites
bullet Update & Addition Form

Last Update: December 17, 2013
If you see information that needs to be updated or if you have questions, please contact us.

* This directory is purely for informational purposes, and is not intended to provide professional advice or recommend any one resource over another. Pathways to Wellness hereby disclaims any liability for any damage arising, directly or indirectly, from the use of the information contained herein.

Refugee Mental Health Bibliography

(link to pdf) This bibliography is an effort to compile prominent research and literature on refugee mental health, from general information to screening and assessment processes, effective interventions and best and promising practices in therapy, clinical treatment and culturally specific modalities. The purpose of this bibliography is to provide an available resource for scholars, researchers, service providers, students, and community members who work and provide care to refugees and asylum seekers. This bibliography was created in partnership with Pathways to Wellness and Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services under the National Partnership for Community Training.

Click Here to Download the Refugee Mental Health Bibliography
(1.2 MB Adobe PDF)


Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our programming, if you need technical assistance, training, or outreach materials.

Portland Office
605 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
Fax: 503-231-7480
Contact us by E-Mail