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Improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Sixth National Conference

Monday 20 May 2019
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Sixth National Conference
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“Consideration also needs to be given to the challenges that asylum seekers face during what is often a prolonged and distressing process. These factors may include institutional detention, inability to work (and resultant deskilling and loss of self esteem), destitution, and difficulty in accessing health and social care…A robust mental health response to the refugee “crisis” must lie in a combination of clinical vigilance, recognition of vulnerability factors, and, above all, a determination to minimise the aggravating effects of post-migration experiences.” Prof Cornelius Katona Medical Director The Helen Bamber Foundation, College Lead on the Mental Health of Asylum Seekers and Refugees The Royal College of Psychiatrists BMJ, 352: i1279

“In recent decades there have been many studies looking at migrant mental health. Migrants not only have higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder – (this is hardly surprising) – but also of depression, of anxiety disorders and of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia. We also know that there are several factors that migrants experience before leaving their home country (such as war, torture and exploitation including human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery) and during their journey (such as hazardous journeys, physical and sexual abuse and further exploitation) which are likely to increase their risk of developing mental health problems… We can, and must, do better. There are a number of basic solutions which, if implemented, could allow us to build a humane system which prioritises the needs of migrants who are already in a difficult situation. They would reduce the mental health burden and distress suffered by many…. Active efforts should be made to address barriers to accessing healthcare for vulnerable migrants. These should include appropriate training for staff and specific programmes to identify and act on vulnerability (including mental health problems) where these are identified… Better recognition of vulnerability factors, and a determination to minimise the aggravating effects of post-migration experiences would go a long way towards improving mental health outcomes.”  Dr Hugh Grant-Peterkin MRCPsych and Prof Cornelius Katona FRCPsych Red Pepper 21st June 2018

“The numbers of people having to wait for unbearably long periods for the Home Office to decide their fate has risen so drastically. This means more and more lives spent in limbo and fear, which can have a hugely damaging impact on people’s mental health and chance to properly rebuild their lives here.” The Refugee Council, 30th November 2017

We are pleased to announce the Sixth National Summit to focus on improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees including providing Emotional First Aid for Refugees.

Benefits of attending
This conference will enable you to:

  • Network with colleagues who are working to improve mental health support for refugees and asylum seekers
  • Understand the national context
  • Understand the vulnerabilities that lead to mental health issues in refugees and ayslum seekers
  • Examine how to set up holistic services that meet the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers
  • Learn from the experiences of the Red Cross and Doctors of the World in delivering Multitiered and comprehensive MHPSS Systems & Psychological First Aid
  • Improve your skills in working with asylum seekers and refugees who have experienced trauma
  • Develop strategies for providing peer and community support
  • Understand the role of specialist interventions such as trauma focused CBT
  • Improve practice in building resilience and improving care of unaccompanied young people seeking asylum
  • Self assess and reflect on your own practice
  • Gain CPD accreditation points contributing to professional development and revalidation evidence


100% of delegates at the last conference on this subject would recommend the event to a colleague

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