Responding to the Challenges of Providing Mental Health Services to Refugees: An Australian Case Report
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 27, Number 3, August 2016
- pp. 1159-1170
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There has been a growing recognition of the mental health needs of refugees in countries of settlement, as many are survivors of torture and other traumatic events experienced in countries of origin, during flight, and in places of temporary refuge. The challenges in providing access to services and quality mental health care arise not only from the fact that refugees generally come from cultures very different to the societies in which they settle and are not proficient in the languages of their new homes. Other significant barriers relate to the impact of the trauma and psychosocial stressors they experience despite finding apparent security. In response to the challenges, specialist agencies have developed ways of providing services that are trauma-informed, culture-informed, and holistic. This paper describes an Australian example of a mental health clinic as part of a community-based service for refugees who are survivors of torture and other traumatic events.