Improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Wednesday 8 June 2016
ICO Conference Centre, London
Follow the conference on Twitter #RefugeeMentalHealth
A Joint Conference Healthcare Conferences UK & The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
"The experience of war, torture, injustice, tragic family separation and death of loved ones disturb the internal world of affected individuals. There is the risk that the belief in anything good is lost which is why it is so important that survivors are quickly met with a caring and understanding response." The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
"Refugees lives are complicated and consequently the factors contributing to a lack of mental wellbeing should not be oversimplified." MIND
"The psychological and social stresses often experienced by refugees during migration can double the prevalence of severe disorders (psychosis, severe depression and disabling anxiety), and increase the figures of mild to moderate mental disorders from 10% to 15-20%, according to the World Health Organisation" The Guardian September 2015
"In the current refugee crisis, with tens of thousands of desperate and exhausted refugees attempting to reach safe havens in Europe, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing is somewhat overlooked amid all the needs that are vying for attention" Pieter Ventevogel, senior mental health officer at UN refugee agency UNHCR.
The above quotes demonstrate the need for mental health support and psychological first aid for refugees and asylum seekers.
Chaired by Guglielmo Schinina, Head of Mental Health at the International Organisation for Migration, and researched and produced in partnership with the Child and Family Refugee Service at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, this important and timely conference will support delegates to better understand and meet the needs of asylum seekers and refugees.
Gillian Hughes Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist at the Tavistock: "Delegates will benefit from a range of learning outcomes including: a better understanding of the psychological impact of traumatic experiences associated with asylum seekers and refugees; an insight into some of the methodologies used by specialist teams to support these populations; and the development of skills as practitioners in responding to the needs of these communities."
Through national updates, practical case studies and extended interactive masterclasses the conference will look at developing local services and responses, developing early access to psychological first aid, delivering psychosocial support to refugees. The conference also includes interactive sessions drawing on theory from psychotherapy(eg the effects of counter transference), narrative and systemic family approaches, community and liberation practices, working with asylum seekers and refugees who have experienced trauma, and therapeutic care of unaccompanied young people seeking asylum.
The final session will focus on improving access to crisis mental health services for asylum seekers and refugees.