Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.


Clinic Helps Refugees Settled In Vermont Work Through Stress, Trauma

Ajuda Thapa, center in black, learns about Lake Champlain Chocolates on an outing with other Bhutanese refugees who have sought mental health treatment at UVM’s Connecting Cultures clinic. Photo by Kathleen Masterson for VPR

Many refugees who arrive on U.S. soil finally feel safe after decades of war or torture or loss of family members. But just because they’re removed from physical harm, it doesn’t mean the pain is over.

That’s why the Connecting Cultures clinic, based at the University of Vermont, offers mental health treatment services to refugees, offering help with everything from dealing with trauma to the stresses of adjusting to a new culture.

Ajuda Thapa was forced to flee from her home in Bhutan in the early 1990s. The Bhutanese government drove more than 100,000 people like Thapa out of the country, in a push toward ethnic cleansing.

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