Multicultural Information & Referral
Do you need help?
Usted necesita ayuda?
Avez-vous besoin d'aide?
Virginia ranks twelfth among states receiving new immigrants and refugees. Today in much of Northern Virginia, one in three families speaks a language other than English at home. Northern Virginia’s healthy economy is due in large part to the significant numbers of foreign-born workers and entrepreneurs who have succeeded in finding their place in American society. For many others, however, the struggle to build a new life in America has just begun.
The obstacles to success can seem overwhelming, particularly to those who are dealing with memories of loss and horrors left behind. Now they face a bewildering array of new challenges, ranging from insufficient English language skills to lack of food and clothing, health problems, and social/cultural isolation.
While there are many services in our community to help individuals in need, these are often inaccessible because of language or other cultural obstacles. Along with these difficulties, the fragmented nature of our human service system makes it difficult to access what is needed.
For a newcomer, what might be a small problem to most can grow into an expensive crises because they do not know how to get help in a timely manner.
A study by the Virginia General Assembly, summarized in The Washington Post in December, 2003, found that “Virginia should do more to provide services to foreign-born residents” (68% of whom live in Northern Virginia), including “access to services and information in their native languages […].”
Part of the solution . . .
MHS's multilingual information and referral line extends the benefits of the staff’s extensive knowledge of refugee and immigrant population, and its familiarity with community resources throughout Northern Virginia. Callers seeking information on services available in the community or specifically at MHS's can call and receive immediate service or leave a message in their native language. Calls are returned within one to two business days by a counselor who speaks the language of the caller.
The information and referral line receives several thousand calls each year. Low income refugees and immigrants often have a complex array of needs and counselors spend an average of 30 to 45 minutes per call.
- Counseling for adults, adolescents and children
- Psychiatric Services
- Parenting Classes
- Anger Management Groups
- Child Abuse Prevention
- Domestic Violence Services
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention
- Treatment for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma
- Help With Housing
- Information and Referral in your Language
- Connection to services in your community
- Citizenship/Immigration/Asylum Services
- Life Skills,
- ESOL Programs,
- Cultural Orientation
- and more...
What are the fees?
The fees for services vary by program and are determined after completing an eligibility screening and financial intake. MHS provides accessible, culturally competent services at low cost; most services have a sliding fee scale. Licensed professionals at MHS are also providers for many insurance companies including MEDICAID, Anthem, Amerigroup, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
How soon will I be seen?
If a Referral Line counselor is not available to take your call, you can leave a message on the confidential voicemail in your own language. Someone will contact you within 1-2 business days. The Referral Line counselor will recommend services based on your needs.
What if MHS cannot or does not provide the help that I need?
If MHS does not provide the services that you need, a Referral Line counselor will be happy to assist you with other referral options within the community.
Calls are returned within one to two business days by a counselor who speaks the language of the caller. The information and referral line receives several thousand calls each year. Low income refugees and immigrants often have a complex array of needs and counselors spend an average of 30 to 45 minutes per call.