What Can We Expect of the Mental Health and Well-Being of Syrian Refugee Children and Adolescents in Canada?

Author(s): Kristin HADFIELD ; Aly OSTROWSKI ; Michael UNGAR



Canada has accepted over 35,000 Syrian refugees since November 2015; just under half of these refugees are under the age of 15 (Government of Canada, 2016; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2016). This paper reviews the current literature on the pre- and postarrival mental health of refugee children and adolescents to determine (a) whether children and adolescents are liable to be suffering from serious mental health difficulties relating to prearrival trauma that will hamper their future well-being and integration into Canadian society and (b) how the well-being of young refugees in Canada can best be promoted. We particularly focus on how postmigration factors may impact the mental health of child and adolescent refugees. This review has implications for both policy and practice, with a need to concentrate services on those young people who are most vulnerable.

Tags: Canada, Syria, Children, Adolescents, Youth, Refugees, Premigration, Postmigration, Traumatic life events, Well-being

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