The Mental Health Status Of Refugees Essays

The Mental Health Status Of Refugees Essays

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The social problem we have chosen to address is the mental health status of refugees. Refugees are exposed to a significant amount of trauma due to fear, war, persecution, torture, and relocating. The mental health illnesses that can affect refugees due to exposure to traumas include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Research indicated that refugees relocating from war-torn countries are particularly vulnerable to mental health concerns because many have experienced early traumas and face further post-traumas after relocation (Cummings, et al., 2011). However, despite the prevalence of mental health issues concerning refugees, mental health needs often go unrecognized and untreated.
Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after a traumatic or life-threatening event such as war, assault, or disaster. In most cases refugees are exposed to and carry these experiences of hostility, violence, racism, discrimination, and isolation with them to their new environment (Kulwicki,A., & Ballout,S., 2008). The resettlement period for refugees is found to be extremely critical because it inflames existing symptoms of PTSD in addition to increasing them.
Refugees are likely to develop high rates of depression and anxiety. Although refugees are fleeing to a safe and new environment, the relocation process itself can have a serious impact on their mental health, which elevates their levels of depression and anxiety. When refugees are relocated they are faced with a series of barriers and stressors such as financial struggles, loss of social support, and adjustment to a new culture and language. Such ongoing stressors may lead to worsened mental health outcomes when added to pre-existing, untreated, trauma-related m...


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... screening show progress so that we do not lose our funding. If there is no progress we will have to implement new activities and do more research on how to effectively reduce mental health issues for refugees. (Julian)
In order to fully assist refugees and their needs, we as a society and within our communities, need to acknowledge the prevalence of the mental health issues they are facing. We must seek to understand the traumas they have experienced and are continuing to experience due to resettlement and relocation. Communities and resettlement programs need to implement more group counseling and mental health programs for refugees providing them with social support and appropriate resources. Mental health in refugees is going unrecognized and untreated, and as a society and within our communities, we need to educate and bring awareness to these concerns. (Nicole)

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