Listening to refugees: How traditional mental health interventions may miss the mark

Author(s): Diane B. MITSCHKE ; Regina T. PRAETORIUS ; Don R. KELLY ; Eusebius SMALL ; Youn K. KIM


Understanding the dynamics of mental health of recently resettled refugees is an essential component of any comprehensive resettlement program, yet establishing the components of a successful and acceptable mental health intervention is an elusive task. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 resettled refugees from five countries who had received treatment for depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms, or anxiety. Themes generated from the interviews emphasized the need for strong group-based social support as well as a focus on practical needs such as acquiring and maintaining employment, language and literacy training, and access to care.

Tags: Refugees, PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Resettlement, Social support, Access to mental health care, Employment, Language, Literacy

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