Many of those who seek refuge in the United States have escaped the atrocities of  war and torture in their countries of origin. . Many re-settled refugees present with chronic, persistent, and impairing mental health problems including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and somatic concerns. The provision of high quality mental health treatment to address the chronic and impairing symptoms is limited due to significant barriers in (1) language (limited English proficiency/use of costly interpreter services); (2) travel (limited transportation to treatment centers, especially in times of crisis); (3) financial (unaffordable sustained healthcare and associated costs such as interpreter fees not covered by insurance); and (4) cultural (culture specific perceptions of mental health/illness).


Successful completion of evidence-based interventions delivered via mobile devices provides affordable, discrete, and effective ways to support refugees. Specifically, when in need, clients have access to effective tools due to the “always-on” nature of mobile devices. Access to strategies between treatment sessions results in faster skill acquisition, shorter interventions, and maintenance of treatment gains.


Data from our NIH SBIR funded mHealth pilot study utilizing the NESTT app, revealed a significant decrease in trauma related symptoms and increased use of coping skills. The use of a culturally responsive, intuitive graphical interface, with content specific to evidence-based treatment, ensures that refugees from diverse backgrounds are reached irrespective of their English proficiency.

Click here to download our free iOS mobile health application.