New resource to support refugee mental health

A NEW resource offering advice on supporting asylum seekers and refugees with their mental health has been launched by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The free guidance is aimed at health and social care professionals in the UK.

Figures show that in 2020, 82 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced. In the same year, the UK received applications for asylum from more than 37,500 people. More than 40 per cent of those were women and children, and eight per cent were children who arrived in the UK alone.

The online resource offers advice on a range of areas including common mental illnesses in displaced people, the principles of "psychological first aid", working with interpreters and the need for triage.

RCP president Dr Adrian James highlighted the importance of not medicalising the distress of refugees and asylum seekers, but instead to help them come to terms with their experiences.

He added: "This resource looks at the basic principles of supporting the mental health of displaced people and is aimed at GPs and other health and social care professionals working with them. It looks at the experiences of mental disorders in asylum seekers and refugees, approaches to assessment, and when to triage to specialist support."

Access the resource: Asylum seeker and refugee mental health

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