Rice U. expert available to discuss mental health of ‘DREAMers’


David Ruth

Rice U. expert available to discuss mental health of ‘DREAMers’
Garcini can comment on recent survey, research and tips for protecting mental health

HOUSTON — (Jan. 2, 2018) — Last year President Donald Trump announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. And this past week Trump tweeted that no deal would be made for a “DACA fix” without a deal to fund a wall along the U.S. southern border. Rice University psychologist Luz Garcini, whose recent research focuses on how living in the U.S. without proper documentation affects mental health as a result of facing constant institutional and societal exclusion, is currently conducting a survey assessing the health needs of immigrants following the termination of DACA and is available for news media interviews.

Garcini and a team of psychologists from the National Latino Psychological Association, including Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, a professor of psychology at Utah State University, have put together a list of 10 tips to help “DREAMers,” recipients of DACA, protect their mental health.

The 10 tips, which are fully explained here, are:

1.   Validate your feelings.
2.   Recognize symptoms of distress.
3.   Identify your triggers.
4.   Build on your strengths.
5.   Connect or reconnect with your joys.
6.   Learn and practice new skills for healthy coping.
7.   Take your mental health seriously and seek help.
8.   Know your rights and identify available resources.
9.   Protect yourself from immigration scams.
10. Share your knowledge to help others like you.

“DREAMers are often marginalized and discriminated against, and as a result they may become isolated from the larger educational and work communities,” said Garcini, who is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology at Rice. “Many also experience separation from deported family members, and they do not have the option of traveling internationally to visit them. Finally, they live in constant fear of deportation and experience a sense of voicelessness, invisibility and limited opportunities due to their conflicting undocumented status.”

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Garcini, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.


Related materials:

Recent Garcini research news:

More than 80 percent of immigrants living in US without authorization have history of trauma

Immigrants living in the country without authorization at risk for anxiety and depression

DREAMers at greater risk for mental health distress

Rice University Department of Psychology: http://psychology.rice.edu
Rice University School of Social Sciences: http://socialsciences.rice.edu

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.