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Project Salaam was a community health & mental health needs assessment among San Diego’s Middle Eastern and East African populations. In that process it captured the most commonly reported psychological symptoms among persons who had experienced trauma, (or multiple traumas). Results supported the concept of complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorders based on symptom severity among those who had experienced multiple adverse events.

This report presents results from an emotional health needs assessment conducted by Project Salaam. It focused on members of greater San Diego’s Middle Eastern, North African, and East African communities.

That inattention to the specific needs and circumstances of culturally and linguistically distinct
groups leads to disparities in general and mental health care has been widely recognized. At the
same time, groups containing a large number of immigrants can face multiple challenges.

On top of routine daily-life stressors, they are often confronted with difficulties inherent in adapting
to new environments.

In addition to the afore-mentioned stressors, these problems reportedly surfaced in response to a sustained rise in local harassment of these communities

after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as the almost constant public focus on US – Middle Eastern conflicts. n short, there appeared to be a growing need to address special circumstances among San Diego’s Middle Eastern, North African, and East African communities. Yet too little is known about these groups and few local mental health, general health, and social service providers have the linguistic and cultural knowledge to effectively assist impacted groups.

In addition, few resources pinpoint appropriate services A scarcity of formal statistics and descriptions has limited attention and responses to the needs of these groups.

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