Mental health responses for refugees vary be a focus on people's wellness and recognizing the tremendous resilience of refugee populations is a first key step.

Refugees are not all the same. Each individual has faced their own unique challenges - including experiences of trauma, loss, separation from family and friends, their hopes and goals for the future.

The map below shows the movement of refugees globally:

Network Visualization of Global Refugee Flows – The GDELT Project

Mental Health Is A Ongoing Challange For Refugees

Mental illness is diagnosed patterns of behaviour or thinking that may need medical treatment to maintain a stable daily life.

Only a small amount of refugees will ever be diagnosed with mental health problems. Estimates of mental illness in refugee populations range from 10% to 40% in Canada.

There are increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and mental health problems in refugee children .

Having to adjust to the sudden loss of stability, family, home, and a country has lasting effects.

Prevalence of and risk factors for mental disorders in refugees -  ScienceDirect

Approches To Helping

Mental health promotion, resilience, the building of social support, and prevention of mental illness through resettlement support, education, and action on the social issues are fundamental to helping refugees.

How a community responses to refugee groups has a large impact on mental health; for instance, the risk of mental illness is much higher in countries where refugees are not allowed to work.

Resilience is the ability to recover from misfortune or change.

Cause, Effects And Action

Exposure to War

Possible Effect is Post Traumatic Stress:

The 4 categories of PTSD symptoms: 1. experiencing the event 2. avoidance 3. cognitive/mood swings 4. Fight Flight or Freeze Learn more about PTSD here:

One way you can look at reducing the negative effects of Post Traumatic Stress:

What Is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? | BetterHelp

Learn more about CBT here:


question mark pixel GIF by ProfessorLightWAV

This feeling requires more reflection and time:

Identifying your emotions:

Resettlement Challenges

The way groups are welcomed into a country; where they live; whether they can work; if they are considered residents; and their access to education, training, and initiatives for social inclusion (e.g. language classes and resettlement services) are important factors in promoting mental health.

Whats Up Hello GIF by Make it Move

The plan set by a government will have a major influence on the psychological well-being of new refugees. There are several factors that increase mental health problems, such as internment, unclear resident status, poor housing, multiple moves, poor access to jobs and education, and poor social support.

Take Action

According to the UN, there are more than 26 million people who are refugees worldwide living in vulnerable situations and in urgent need of assistance.

As mental health becomes a topic more people talk about openly, it is important to reflect on the struggles we have as individuals and discuss the challenges facing refugee communities all over the world.


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