Refugee Radio has been running a mental-health support group since 2011. We discovered a desperate need for this work through our radio show and it is now our main focus.
Our support group meets every Monday at our office in Brighton. It is for refugees and asylum seekers suffering from PTSD, stress and depression.
Many of the people we work with have been traumatised through torture, war and/or sexual violence. But refugees do not get the mental-health support that they need to build new lives in the UK. We want to change that problem.
At Refugee Radio, we believe that PTSD can be overcome. It can be treated and it can be cured.
Our 2015 report on the needs of refugees and asylum seekers has the following 6 recommendations:
- As the prevalence of PTSD in this population is so high, the test threshold must reflect the known probability.
- Therefore any patient from a refugee-producing country who presents to a GP with any mental health issue or any visible injuries/scarring should be screened for PTSD. This is compatible with NICE guidelines [CG26].
- Refugees or asylum seekers with symptoms of PTSD should not merely be diagnosed with depression, prescribed anti-depressants or referred simply for counselling.
- Those who do not English as their first language should be provided with written advice on PTSD, ideally in a bilingual format so that it can be understood both by the patient and by anyone assisting them in the future
- Those who are diagnosed with PTSD should have a clear referral pathway to suitable long-term treatment such as EMDR.
- Those who are deemed assessed to be inappropriate referrals for EMDR due to insufficient stability and personal resources should have a clear pathway for reassessment following alternative treatment.
A full copy of the report is downloadable below.