Mental Health Considerations in Refugee Populations

Fareen I. Karachiwalla. UBCMJ 2011 2(2):20-22.
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The needs of refugees are increasingly being recognized within Canadian society, including the unique mental health needs they possess. Refugees face a host of stressors before, during, and after migration that can influence their mental health. To advance health equity, practitioners must move beyond a biomedical model of care when working with refugees. In making sense of their symptoms, their resilience, subjective experiences, and cultural differences in the expression of symptoms must not be neglected. When addressing their mental health needs, a Social Determinants of Health approach, which acknowledges the importance of addressing social and economic stressors, should be adopted.
KEYWORDS: mental health, refugees, migration and health, psychiatry