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Refugees 'need better mental health care'

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The mental health of refugees and asylum seekers is being made worse by UK detention centres and complex asylum and immigration processes, according to the charity Mind.

It reports that lack of support and resources is not only triggering mental health problems, but also making existing conditions worse.

It says that denial of access to NHS services and treatments, and restrictive healthcare, education, accommodation and employment policies, are further marginalising people caught up in the system.

In particular, it says, primary care trusts and local authorities need to do more to liaise with refugee community organisations in order to develop culturally appropriate services.

Mind spokesman Marcel Vige said: “Accessing services is hugely difficult for a wide range of reasons, from language barriers to the stigma surrounding mental health, and this further marginalises them to the isolated fringes of society.

“While we came across some excellent examples of tailored services for refugee and asylum seekers, a vast number are not getting much-needed help.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The mental health of the indigenous population is also made worse by lack of resources, stigma, education, unemployment and unsympathetic employers.
    I work in general practice in a area of deprivation as an advanced clinician seeing people with mental health problems every day. In the past 6 years I have seen an overwhelming increase in people who present with anxiety and depression. Services for asylum seekers in my area are good and are given better access to local services than my patients who wait up to 20 weeks for any form of therapy.

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