Mental Health Interventions for Refugee Children in Resettlement: White Paper II
National Child Traumatic Stress Network Refugee Trauma Task Force
Los Angeles, CA: National Child Traumatic Stress Network
2005, 32 pages
Argues for the necessity, and outlines the characteristics, of a comprehensive mental health services model for making mental health interventions with refugee children. Providers of mental health services to traumatized refugee children get information about: (1) mental health issues for refugee children in resettlement, including previous exposure to trauma, stresses of resettlement, and barriers to receiving services; (2) the importance of culturally competent and comprehensive mental health and social services; (3) research and analysis to date concerning the effectiveness of comprehensive services for children, including strategies involving trauma-informed treatments for children, psycho-educational and parenting interventions for mothers, and art and expressive therapy; (4) strategies to improve access to care and engagement in services; (5) approaches to cultural competence, including enhancing cultural awareness and sensitivity of mainstream providers, using ethnically matched professionals and paraprofessionals, and offering services in culture-specific clinics or centers; and (6) interventions designed to address the stresses of resettlement, including case management and preventive interventions. A focus on studying existing practices with refugee children can serve the long-term goal of developing evidence-based interventions for traumatized refugees.