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Emotional Health & Wellbeing for displaced people

On March 22nd, 2023, JRAN orchestrated an online roundtable forum. The forum brought together some of the most influential voices in the sector, to address the growing mental health needs of refugees and displaced people in the UK.

The primary focus of the Forum was to identify and tackle the key challenges faced by organizations that offer this kind of secialised support. Attendees collaboratively explored potential solutions and recommendations to ensure that the needs of those affected are met in the best possible way.

Jenny Altschuler, a leading figure from One to One Children's Fund, and Kate Daniels, an expert in family therapy licensed by the Association for Family Therapy, hosted the event. This important gathering included key organizations in the sector such as The Refugee Council, Amna, Solace UK, Trauma Treatment International, New Citizen’s Gateway, and many more.

The event included 2 keynote sessions:

Keynote 1: Building capacity to understand and meet mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers.

Keynote 2 : Capacitating and supporting frontline workers, hosts and volunteers. Reflective Space - Accessing services for Emotional Health and Wellbeing Needs in the UK.

There was also a reflective space that focused on Accessing services for Emotional Health and Wellbeing Needs in the UK.

Anne Burghgraef, Clinical Director at Solace UK, highlighted the challenge of a lack of clarity for organizations seeking to provide mental health support. While it is evident that individuals are suffering, the source of the problem and how to address it is not always clear.

Other participants echoed this, with Psychological Therapist Paul Cilia La Corte of the Refugee Council recalling that asylum decision making is flawed and often leaves many cases undecided. Displaced people therefore may struggle to speak and give a coherent narrative when already stressed and traumatised.

Some solutions discussed during workshops highlighted the use of legal, psychological and country experts to tackle the issues, whilst enabling access to specialist support and the opportunity to make connections.

One example given was training non-accredited counsellors with knowledge on local resources and best practice. This way, organisations may develop a community of support that fosters connections and access to resources.

For more insight into the challenges and solutions of this pertinent topic, the whole recording is available to watch here:

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