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Last December, we had the privilege of supporting Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR), a local coalition of physicians, mental health workers and lawyers here in Seattle. We were very excited because they are doing amazing work to provide treatment and care for refugees and survivors of torture who are resettling in the Puget Sound area.

NWHHR, formed in 2012 by Dr. Carey Jackson of Harborview’s International Medicine Clinic and Beth Farmer of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, offers a comprehensive model of treatment tailored specifically for torture victims. Its treatment addresses mental health, as well as social, medical and legal needs.

The coalition aims to restore the dignity and health of people from all over the world whose rights have been violated. With cultural competency gained through years of experience, NWHHR partners understand the political context of different ethnic groups and are able to customize their services to their patients’ special needs.

NWHHR also provides ongoing educational outreach to psychologists, physicians and lawyers to make them aware of signs of torture, its consequences and best practices in evaluation and management.

In observance of International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, we told NWHHR’s story to journalists at local and national media outlets, many of whom decided to cover their work. Highlights included NPR and KOMO, which respectively ran a radio segment and published an article featuring the coalition, Dr. Jackson’s op-ed on Seattle Local Health Guide, and an interview with StoryCorps.

Our Health & Social Impact team was honored to provide pro bono PR services to an organization that makes such a positive impact in the lives of people in need. Their story is an inspiration and a testament to the resilience of humanity.

Washington state accepts thousands of refugees each year, ranking ninth in the nation according to U.S. immigration statistics. Many refugees are survivors of torture from war-torn countries such as Burma, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia.

 

Peony Lui is a intern with the Health & Social Impact team in the Weber Shandwick Seattle office.

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