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:
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.
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.
Wellbeing is having your needs met; health, purpose, security, etc.
Social Capital is your connection to the wider community that you support and that can help you in return.
Psychological Coping Strategies are ways to identify mental stress and actions you can take to reduce the harms.
Cause, Effects And Action
Exposure to War
Possible Effect is Post Traumatic Stress:
Learn more about PTSD here:
One way you can look at reducing the negative effects of Post Traumatic Stress:
Learn more about CBT here:
This feeling requires more reflection and time:
Identifying your emotions:
Coping with feelings of loneliness:
Reflecting on Adversity:
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.
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.
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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