About Us 

Immigrants and refugees, seeking safety, leave their homes for unfamiliar destinations in search of better lives for themselves and their families. Despite considerable challenges, most immigrants and refugees in the United States lead healthy lives and contribute meaningfully to American society.  Even so, adjustment to living in a new host country may be significantly affected by histories of grievous loss and violent traumatic exposures, which commonly precipitate profound emotional distress. Indeed, the prevalence of mental health conditions, especially posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, is high, particularly among refugees, a subgroup of immigrants  routinely subjected to extreme traumatic experiences before, during, and after forced displacement. Promoting health in such a context means paying proper attention to these histories since emotional wellbeing is critical to overall health. Accordingly, our program aids in the social and emotional adjustment of immigrants and refugees in need. We provide mental health services with culturally-informed approaches, educate healthcare providers about caring for immigrants and refugees, and increase professional and public awareness of immigrant and refugee community needs. 

Mental Health Services

Transition can be difficult, as immigrants and refugees adjust to new schools, work environments, and American culture, often with an added burden of lacking adequate resources to meet their most basic needs. Additionally, many of our clients continue to suffer from trauma that they experienced in their home countries or during migration. We provide mental health services with culturally sensitive approaches to aid the stability, social, and emotional adjustment of immigrants and refugees. Our therapists aim to help those in distress to recover a sense of individual well-being and to improve relationships among family members. Our psychiatrists assist with diagnostic evaluation, offer judicious prescription of psychiatric medication when indicated, and sometimes conduct therapy themselves. Often, refugees are unaware of the services available to help them get settled.  We offer case management services, helping immigrant and refugee clients navigate and access complex healthcare and social services systems. While some of our providers have facility with certain languages, we most often rely on the help of our pool of trained interpreters to aid in communication with our clients.


Education and Training

We provide interprofessional and interdepartmental teaching in immigrant and refugee mental health at CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Our students include psychiatry trainees, social work interns and faculty in the department of psychiatry. We provide case consultations with providers in other medical specialties, including internal medicine, pediatrics and neurology.


Our Staff

We have highly skilled, culturally informed psychiatrists, social workers, and professional counsellors on our team who have extensive experiences working with refugees and immigrants. 




Dr. Daniel Savin has worked with immigrants and refugees for over 30 years, beginning in the early 1990’s as a volunteer psychiatrist for Cambodian refugees at the Thai-Cambodia border. He founded and currently directs our Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Program. Dr. Savin, a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and has also taught for many years at the University of Health Sciences, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Additionally, he is  a staff psychiatrist at Jewish Family Services and the Asian Pacific Development Center. He speaks and provides treatment in Spanish and Khmer.  



Dr. Ahmad Adi, MD, MPH currently serves as an Assistant Professor as well as the Associate Program Director of Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO. In these roles, Dr. Adi serves as a faculty member in general and forensic psychiatry where he provides clinical services, forensic evaluation, and trainee supervision. Dr. Adi’s research interests include forensic evaluations in immigration courts and mental health in humanitarian disasters, and he provides trainings on conducting these evaluations locally and nationally. Dr. Adi provides psychiatric services to immigrants and refugees at the University of Colorado in English and Arabic. 


David Alan Harris is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT), who has been providing individual and group therapy to refugees, asylum-seekers, and other immigrants since 2000.  In working for two decades with survivors of extreme traumatic experiences associated with war, organized violence, and marginalized status, David has specialized in fostering mind-body connection as a pathway to recovery.  David’s aim to support survivors in their struggle to restore dignity and well-being after human rights violations led him to supervise a mental health team for some two years in a war-ravaged corner of Sierra Leone, following a prolonged conflict that had decimated civilian populations.  He trained counselors there and in Liberia, and with them introduced the first formal dance/movement therapy groups in West Africa, including the first anywhere for former child soldiers.  David has since published scholarly articles and book chapters on this work and has lectured about trauma recovery on five continents. 


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Farduus Ahmed, MSW, is an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She began working with refugees in East African refugee camps as a teenager in 2008. Farduus, a clinician and educator, is also an experienced community leader and consultant.  She works with organizations in the Denver metro area that serve refugees and immigrants, offering expert opinion, program analysis, and recommendations to service providers and systems to promote the self-sufficiency, integration and empowerment of refugee and immigrant individuals and families. She is a certified professional interpreter/translator and is fluent in Somali and English.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Do you accept Medicaid?  Yes. We accept Colorado Medicaid and Medicare 
  • Do you accept private insurance?  Yes. We accept most major commercial insurance plans.  
  • Do you offer telehealth services?  Yes. Most of our services are offered in person and via telehealth. 
  • Do I need a referral?  No. We accept both provider referrals and self-referrals.  
  • Are services available for children?  Yes. We offer services to support all family members, including children and adolescents. 
  • How do I schedule an appointment?  If you or anyone you know may be interested in scheduling an appointment, please send an email to: Farduus Ahmed  Farduus.ahmed@cuanschutz.edu

Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Program at CUMedicine Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic 

Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


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