Image
Aimee Hilado wearing a salmon blouse in front of a grey wall

Aimee Hilado, PhD, LCSW

Assistant Professor
she/her/hers
ahilado@uchicago.edu
Address

969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Office Location: Room BW-02

Areas of Expertise
Culturally-sensitive Mental Health Care
Immigration Trauma
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
Refugee/Immigrant Mental Health
Trauma-informed Clinical Practice
Other Affiliations

Chair, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Mental Health

Aimee Hilado is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Her research centers on the impact of immigration trauma, early childhood/adult mental health, and culturally sensitive clinical practice for refugee and immigrant populations. She seeks to humanize the complexity of the refugee/immigrant experience and provide guidelines regarding the clinical application of evidence-based interventions with global populations through community-engaged research partnerships. The overarching goal of her work is to increase immigration trauma research, translate scientific rigor into real-world community mental health practice, and use research to influence immigration and health policy on local and national levels.

Professor Hilado is an applied researcher using mixed methods designs as well as cross-sectional and comparative methods to explore mental health outcomes among forcibly displaced refugees and immigrants resettled in the United States. Her research program is informed by nearly 15 years of clinical experience providing therapy and accompaniment supports to arrivals across the lifespan (pregnancy to older adulthood) from five different global regions: Central/Eastern Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. She has a particular interest in clinical practice with newcomer families with very young children (birth to age 5), unaccompanied children in U.S. residential programs (age 2-17 years), and conducting forensic psychological assessments with asylum seekers; each area of practice informing future research directions.

Current projects include Professor Hilado's efforts examine the conceptual process and empirical findings related to the Refugee Accompaniment and Mental Healthcare Model she developed and directed in a community-based refugee resettlement program (2011-2021). She is examining the trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive, and developmentally-appropriate strategies that were used to promote mental wellbeing, sense of belonging, and authentic self-reliance among new arrivals along with addressing the intergenerational impact of immigration trauma. Related to this work is an additional research project focusing on the interplay and consequences of pre- and post-refugee resettlement policies and organizational practices that impact individual, family and community functioning with specific attention to mental health outcomes using longitudinal program and clinical data from her former program.

Professor Hilado is also developing a trauma-informed curriculum to prepare a workforce to address significant psychological distress among children and youth in the U.S. Unaccompanied Children Program that she will pilot and evaluate. She is also developing and implementing a multi-tier mental health support plan, in collaboration with Lurie Children's Hospital and the Chicago Department of Public Health, to address the mental health needs of asylum-seeking migrants who have been forcibly relocated to Chicago as part of Texas Gov. Abbott's Operation Lone Star busing program. Her team will be conducting a study to examine the multi-level, multi-agency mental health response and the efficacy of their mental health capacity-building efforts. 

Her work has been published in Psychological Services, Journal of Early Childhood Research, and Early Childhood Research and Practice. She also contributed to chapters in Refugee Mental Health (American Psychological Association, 2021) and Migrant Workers: Social Identity, Occupational Challenges, and Health Practices (NOVA Science Publishers, 2016). Her most recent edited book is Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness, and Integrative Theory (Sage Publications, 2017).

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Practice

The course provides an introduction to infant early childhood mental health (IECMH) practice and the importance of social-emotional development for very young children...

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Adult Psychopathology

This course covers the description, classification, evaluation, and diagnosis of the adult psychiatric disorders described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of...

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Social Intervention: Direct Practice I

This two-quarter course emphasizes the design and practice of social work interventions at the individual, family, and group levels. Students are introduced to the values...

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Edited Book

Hilado, A., & Lundy, M. (Eds.) (2017). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Ford-Paz, R. E., Santiago, C. D., Coyne, C. A., Rivera, C., Guo, S., Rusch, D., St. Jean, N., Hilado, A., & Cicchetti, C. (2020). You're not alone: A public health response to immigrant/refugee distress in the current sociopolitical context. Psychological Services, 17(S1), 128–138. https://doi.org/10.1037/ser0000381

Ford-Paz, R.E., DeCarlo Santiago, C., Coyne, Rivera, C., Guo, S., Rusch, D., St. Jean, N., Hilado, A., & Cicchetti, C. (2019). You're Not Alone: A public health response to immigrant/refugee distress in the current sociopolitical context. American Psychological Association.

Leow, C., Hilado, A., Limlingan, M.C., & Howard, E. (2014). Challenges of planning a birth-to-three evaluation: An early childhood statewide system evaluation. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12(2), 129-139. doi: 10.1177/14761718X13515430

Hilado, A., Kallemeyn, L., & Phillips, L. (2013). Examining Understandings of Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Programs: Implications for Policies and Practice. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 15(2).

Hilado, A., Kallemeyn, L., Leow, C., Lundy, M., & Israel, M. (2011). Supporting child welfare and parent involvement in preschool programs. Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(5), 343-353. doi:10.1007/s10643-011-0471-z

Book Chapters

Hilado, A., Recnicek, E., & Allweiss, S. (2021). Primer on the refugee experience (Chapter 2). In J. Eatton & J. Hwang (Eds). Refugee Mental Health. Thousand Oaks, CA: American Psychological Association.

Hilado, A., Chu, A., & Magrisso, A. (2021). Practice with refugee families with young children (Chapter 9). In J. Eatton & J. Hwang (Eds). Refugee Mental Health. Thousand Oaks, CA: American Psychological Association.

Lundy, M. & Hilado, A. (2017). Transnational practice as the client's process: Reorienting practice. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hilado, A. (2017). Practice with individuals. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hilado, A. & Allweiss, S. (2017). Physical and mental health stabilization: The importance of wellbeing in the adjustment of new immigrants. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hilado, A. (2017). Organizational practice: Applying the Cultural Mergence Model for working with trauma-exposed populations. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Allweiss, S. & Hilado, A. (2017). The context of migration: Pre-migration, migration and post-migration resettlement experiences. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hilado, A., & Lundy, M. (2017). Maintaining critical thinking and self-awareness skills: The common denominator. In A. Hilado & M. Lundy (Eds). Models for Practice with Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness and Integrative Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Hilado, A. & Hong, P.Y. (2016). Social support, economic pursuit and economic stability: Promoting acculturation, employment and overall health and wellbeing among migrant workers. In Q. Xu & L.P. Jordan (Eds). Migrant Workers: Social Identity, Occupational Challenges and Health Practices. NOVA Science Publishers, Inc.

Aimee Hilado earned a dual master’s degree in social work and applied child development at Loyola University Chicago and Erikson Institute, and a PhD in social work with distinction at Loyola University Chicago. She is a licensed clinical social worker and was the Founding Clinical Director of the RefugeeOne Wellness Program (2011-2021), a mental health program she developed for refugees and immigrants at the largest refugee resettlement agency in Chicago. Previously, she was a fellow with Zero to Three, a national organization focused on translating the science of early development into helpful resources, practical tools, and responsive policies for parents, professionals, and policymakers.