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Mental Health in the Refugee Community

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Mental Health in the Refugee Community Powered By Docstoc
					Refugee Mental Health
    Local Community


                   prepared and presented
                                         by
                              Bindu Narula
 Settlement and Special Project Coordinator
       Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
                 National RAP Conference
             Vancouver, BC February 2007
Mental Health Cross Culturally
   Cross culturally mental health is viewed
    differently
   Stereotypes about mental health
       Both amongst refugees and about refugees
   “What is normal behaviour?”
       Need to understand values and behaviour in a
        cultural context
Mental Health vs. Mental Well Being

    Degrees of Mental Health
        Not static, can change with circumstances
    GAR clients with severe mental illness are
     few
    but there are many people living on the
     fringe, they can go either way
            coping resettlement obstacles with
             alcoholism, family violence, withdrawal and
             social isolation
Services Provided to all GARs
   Primary Counselor
       (RAP & ISP) up to 3 yrs
       Follow up and monitoring
   HOST program
       Dedicated volunteers from community
   Survivors of Torture Program
       Listening to people’s stories
       Refers clients for appropriate psychological counseling
   Calgary Refugee Health Program
       Referrals to mainstream resources
       Psychologists
       Hospitals for more severe cases
Mental Health Resources
 On-going joint meetings with Calgary
  Refugee Health Clinic, CCIS and CHRA
Objective:
 meeting was intended to discuss mental
  health issues and identify gaps
 Identify some refugee sensitive resources in
  the community
    Some Gaps Identified:
   staff not trained to recognize symptoms
   lack of sufficient support system-both clinical
    and informal
   fall through the cracks in system
   back home clients with more serious issues
    would most likely be institutionalized and
    monitored
         here they are left virtually unmonitored
         above cases are few
    Some resources:
   networking with other agencies and
    community members
   Connecting people with ethno-cultural
    communities
   Cross Cultural Mental Health
       CHRA 1st language resource for mental health
   Peter Lougheed Centre Crisis Team
   Loss Counseling/Grief Counseling thru CRHA
   Mental Health Clinician at Alberta Children’s
    Hospital
References
   http://ethnomed.org/ethnomed/clin_topics/me
    ntal_health.html#mental