Mental Health, Economic Well-Being, and Experiences of Farming in Resettled Refugees in Syracuse, NY

Rashmi Gangamma (MFT) PI, Bhavneet Walia (PH) co-I, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern (FST) co-I
Extramural Sponsored Project – Fahs Beck Foundation, 3/1/19-10/31/20

This project examines relationships between home and community gardening practices, mental health indicators, community building, and socio-economic well-being in resettled refugee populations. Existing literature suggests refugees face a decreased probability of sustaining socio-economic development if nutritional and general health needs are unmet. The state of New York resettled the third-highest number of refugees among the fifty states during the fiscal year 2016 (OTDA, 2016), and approximately 94 percent of these refugees resettled in Central New York. This empirical connection across family therapy, food studies, and public health looks to advance understanding of gardening as a moderator for reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, particularly among those subjected to systemic violence or trauma. This project has implications for refugee mental health, including intervention and policy development.