Mental Health Needs of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Course overview

Responding to the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers can be a difficult area which many support workers feel ill-equipped to deal with. This one day course provides basic knowledge alongside practical skills that will enable staff to identify those in need, engage in a culturally sensitive way, provide basic support and signpost or refer on for further assistance where necessary.

Who should attend?
The course is aimed at non-specialists such as advice workers, support workers or others whose work brings them into contact with asylum seekers or refugees in need of support.
Learning objectives
By the end of this course you should be better able to:
• Describe the UK asylum process
• Identify the range of pre and post migration factors that may impact on asylum seekers and refugees
• Describe the basic signs of mental health problems in this diverse client group
• Identify practical skills with which to provide support
• Describe the process for making a referral for further help and support
Course content
• Definitions and legal status of the terms ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’
• A brief overview of the asylum process in the UK and its possible impact on the individual
• Understanding the range of pre and post migration stressors
• Cultural perspectives on the nature and causes of mental distress
• Recognising the signs of common mental health problems
• Understanding the effects of trauma and recognising both normal and complicated trauma reactions
• How to recognise signs of more severe distress
• How to use active listening skills to build rapport
• Basic ‘first aid’ strategies for people in mental distress
• How to make a brief assessment of risk
• Making a plan of action and support
• When and how to signpost for further support

Training methods
• Group work
• Discussion
• Case studies
• Practical exercises
• Trainer presentations
• Powerpoint presentation
• Handouts



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