Victoria Ngo joins us from RAND where she served as a behavioral and social scientist. Also a clinical psychologist, she has expertise in developing, evaluating, and implementing evidence-based treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for depression, anxiety, and trauma in diverse communities in the United States and abroad. Her research pays particular attention to understanding and promoting implementation strategies that can increase access and quality of evidence-based mental health services for ethnic minorities and underserved populations worldwide.

The Health Evaluation and Applied Research Development (HEARD) Project under the USAID Health Research Program 2.0 undertakes efforts that strengthen the research capacities of university and research institutions in low- and middle-income countries to accelerate the achievement of USAID health and development goals envisioned within the Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD), AIDS-Free Generation (AFG), and Protecting Communities from Infectious Diseases (PCID).

Conflict in the Middle East has produced vast numbers of Arab refugees seeking asylum in neighboring countries, Western Europe, and elsewhere. They are exposed to multiple sources of trauma, including the ravages of war, often perilous informal routes of escape, and finally, the stress of attempting to settle in unfamiliar and often hostile new environments. In consequence this population is at considerable risk of developing mental stress, including anxiety, depression, prolonged grief disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. Culturally aware mental health services are frequently inaccessible.