Americana World Community Center

A nonprofit organization

$4,102 raised by 21 donors

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, Americana Community Center is launching a Give For Good Louisville Fundraiser on September 14th, 2023 to benefit our Mental Health Initiative.

Refugees and immigrants coming to the U.S. face cultural and linguistic barriers in addition to psychosocial challenges, as they have experienced war and trauma. They typically arrive with interrupted education and immediate financial hardship. Without a social network and holistic services, these challenges make it difficult for this population to move beyond just surviving. Refugees and immigrants are already at such high risk for mental health problems including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, adjustment disorder, and somatization. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a negative impact on refugees and immigrants who experience an additional level of social isolation in tandem with the general burdens of relocating to a new country.

Americana’s counseling program provides mental health support and resources to both our youth and adult participants. Youth participants receive direct mental health support through individual and group counseling, where they participate in psycho-education and education on topics like anger management, self-esteem, emotional regulation, coping with post traumatic stress and other relevant subjects tailored to the needs of the group annually. Indirect mental health support is also embedded within the youth after-school program, where students participate in yoga, mindfulness, and gardening.

Adults engage with our mental health services through psycho-education for parents and communities, which provides learning opportunities focused on healthy child development, as well as individual counseling. We also provide mental and spiritual wellness spaces within the building for prayer, meditation, and as a social and emotional safe space. Staff completed a series of eight Trauma Resiliency Training Boosters, and were also trained to provide trauma training to community partners through our partnership with the Trauma Resilient Communities Initiative. Staff are trained on cultural competency and interpretation services in order to serve our participants. Because of our commitment to trauma informed care, our location, and the programs we provide, Americana is uniquely positioned to serve the mental health needs of our community. 

Stories about Mental Health --

How we approached a bullied student:

When John, a middle schooler, appeared in major distress, our Youth Program staff stepped in.  Rehani, the Youth Program coordinator, called John in for a one-on-one meeting, explaining John was not in trouble but that the staff was concerned for him. John slowly revealed that he was being bullied in school and said that it made him hate his life.

Rehani listened carefully to John and reassured John that he would always be appreciated and respected at Americana. Throughout the following week, Rehani and the staff checked in on John and communicated with his parents who received family counseling and home visits.

Now, John has received more leadership roles among his peers at the after-school program which has boosted his confidence and happiness. He has also reported feeling more content at school and continues to receive support from Americana's counseling including coping mechanisms for sadness and stress. One day after school, John left a note on Rehani’s desk in which he wrote...

"You're the best teacher ever!"

At Americana, the Youth Program staff prioritize building a system of trust and confidentiality for the children enrolled in the program. They provide safe spaces for kids to talk openly about challenges and confusing things going on in their lives. As a component of our Mental Health Initiative, all of Americana’s youth participants receive direct mental health support through individual and group counseling.


Mental health goes beyond the therapist's office.


Milagros is a shy person who finds peace and confidence in gardening. She particularly enjoys growing ayote, a squash plant from her country of origin. Although she was a little nervous to prepare a dish for someone else, Milagros harvested ayote and prepared it in two different ways - one sweet and one savory - to share with Americana’s garden coordinator. This touching act of generosity and gratitude demonstrated Milagros’ growing sense of self-esteem in socializing. Growing and preparing food for yourself and others contributes to feelings of autonomy, accomplishment, and agency. We provide the garden space not only as a place to grow food, but also as a place to grow happier and healthier.

A new soccer program to support teen boys.

Youth Program Coordinator Rehani started playing soccer at six-years-old in a Tanzanian refugee camp. His family had fled to Tanzania from Burundi and settled in a refugee camp where they along with other refugees were not able to leave the camp to work or go to sch…

Who We Are

Americana World Community Center is bridging the gap from surviving to thriving for Louisville’s refugee, immigrant and underserved population through education, family support, youth achievement, and career and financial development.

Each year, we serve more than 5,000 people from over 100 countries in their pursuits of better days and brighter futures...

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Americana World Community Center

Tax id (EIN)

61-1251306

Address

4801 Southside Drive
Louisville, KY 40214

Phone

(502) 366-7813