Refugees

Refugee children and youth are particularly vulnerable to mental heatlh issues because of their exposure to traumatic and/or stressful circumstances.  While each refugee has a unique story, most are exposed to common stressors through their experiences in their native countries, refugee camps, and resettlement communities.  Additionally, refugee children are particularly vulnerable because they often lack the power to make choices that can affect their circumstances. Unfortunately, the mental health needs of these children and families too easily go unnoticed and/or unaddressed.

On the other hand, despite their traumatic histories and increased risk for the development of mental health problems, most refugees are incredibly resilient and adapt very well to their resettlement communities.  As adaptation has been a cultural norm, most refugees are very skilled at adjusting to and thriving despite a host of adverse conditions.

 

For schools and other child serving professionals, learning about the history,  culture, and experiences of local refugee groups is necessary to provide effective and culturally competent education and supportive services to all children. General Cultural Considerations in Working with Refugees provides useful information and guidelines.

 

 

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