A short guide to help you get started finding the right volunteer opportunity.
Understand How You Can Help
There are many different ways that social workers and mental health professionals can help. Social workers can work with immigrants to solve and cope with problems that go beyond the legal dimension in their everyday lives. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and clinical social workers help immigrants to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues. Mental health professionals also play a special role in performing psychological evaluations to support asylum seekers and their claims of persecution, as well as in other areas of immigration.
Learn About Immigration and Mental Health
Immigrants encounter a number of unique factors that can have implications for their mental health, including separation from their country of origin, family members, and culture, as well as having to navigate a new and unfamiliar culture and physical environment. Stresses involved in the immigration experience can lead to mental health challenges, including depression, PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety and more. Explore resources on immigration and mental health.
Find An Organization in Your Area
Many nonprofit immigration legal service providers offer volunteer opportunities for social workers and other mental health professionals. To find a program in your area, enter your zip code or choose your state on our national volunteer opportunities guide.
Learn About the U.S. Immigration System
U.S. immigration law is complex, and there is a lot of confusion about how it works. Immigration laws have many goals, including keeping families together, bringing skilled workers to the U.S., and protecting people from danger. Some laws allow people to stay for a limited time. Other laws allow people to qualify for permanent legal status. Learn more about immigration law and how the U.S. immigration system works.