Mental Health Program
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mental health program assignment of refugees which is important to improve the overall mental health of such population.

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Mental Health Research Program

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Mental health research program

Mental Health Program

Assignment

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Mental health research program

Introduction:

The emergence of 9.9 million refugees that has been accumulated from all

over the world as recorded for the year 2006 was an eye opener towards

the presence of social crisis of the present day society. The United Nations

1951 Convention has developed an official definition of the term refugee

that explain a refuges as “a person who is outside his/her country of

nationality or habitual residence; has a well founded fear of persecution

because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular

social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail

himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of

persecution.” Considering the Australian scenario with respect to refugee

settlements it was observed that on humanitarian ground Australia

sheltered more than 750,000 immigrants from all over the country since

1947. Victoria has been the home for thousands of refugees and asylum

seekers in the previous thirty years of the history of Australian community.

In consideration with the Humanitarian Program Victoria was been the

shelter provider from 44,880 refugees who have arrived to the city for last

one decade.

The Family Migration Program and Skilled Migration Stream can be cited

as initiatives that are in alignment with the Humanitarian Program. Hence

although the country has welcomed a huge population of refugees from all

over the world but a number of social and cultural aspects are found to

exert an adverse affect on the overall mental health of the refugees and the

asylum seekers. The subsequent segments of this essay shall focus to

understand the underlying socio-cultural factor that has been reflected in

the mental health status of the refugees.

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Mental health research program

Key challenges with respect to refugee settlements:

Although providing shelter to the refugees can be considered to be an

ethically justified act but a number of challenges are found to surface in

parallel with this issue. It is can established fact that people who has to

leave the native country and had to seek for resettlement in foreign nation

are exposed to a high degree of trauma and directly and adversely

influence the mental health of such group of individuals. Traumatic effects

including post traumatic effects of war, separation from family members,

the existence of human rights abuse, journey related trauma and trauma

from physical and psychological torture can be highlighted as the major

challenges in this respect. Apart from this the aspects like prolonged

deprivation faced by the refugees in the refugee camps with minimal

access to a healthy living, presence of safe shelter, adequate drinking

water, food supply and provisions for primary health care are also

considered to contribute in the gradual deterioration of the mental health of

the refugees. Lack of employment facilities and inadequacy with respect

education of the refuges children can also be included as the major

challenges with respect to the topic of discussion.

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Mental health research program

Psychological experiences of the refugees:

An insight into the psychological experience that has been prominent within

the refugees it has been segmented into three main types of experiences:

the preflight experience, the flight experience and the resettlement

experience. The presence of physical and psychology theory disturbances

or trauma with being witnessed of criminal activities like murder and other

social abuse can be included within the pre flight experience of the

refugees. On the contrary the flight experience and the experience of

resettlement can be considered as the experience obtained from the

extensive and stressful travels, undesirable event in the refugee camps.

Also separation of the children from their parents, loss of culture and

adaptation to a completely new environment are also included under the

resettlement experience of refugees. The presence of language barrier can

also be cited as one of the major resettlement experience of the refugees.

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Mental health research program

The socio-cultural factors responsible for mental health

deterioration of the refugees:

The clear indication of the incidents of social isolation based on racism and

discrimination has been one of the major reasons behind the degrading

mental health of the refugees. It is also observed that the presence of

prolonged anxiety, uncertainty, safety issues and absence of family support

has also exerted a gradual yet deep impact on the mental framework of the

refugee population. Another aspect that should be highlighted in context of

the discussion is the presence of huge cultural diversity has also influenced

the mental health care managementsuch group of population. As people

from different countries are found to migrate to a country as accumulate as

refugees huge cultural variation is observed within the refugee population.

This cultural diversity has been considered to be a major setback with

respect to the adjustments issues of the refugees and also directly

influence their mental health. Hence cultural dislocation and lack

of financial analysis support has contributed towards the mental trauma

that has subsequently affected the mental status of the refugees. Exploring

the psychological impacts of the refugees clear indication of trauma related

syndromes inclusive of distress, avoidance, persistent feeling of sadness,

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Mental health research program

loneliness, emotional numbing, hyper arousal, presence of intrusive

thoughts are clearly evident.

Studies have also supported the presence of a connection between pre

migration trauma and mental health in resettlement with respect to the

mental setup of the refugees. Often the incidents of forced migration are

also considered as a causal factor that affected the mental health of the

refugees and asylum seekers. The prevalence of Post traumatic Stress

Disorder or PTSD along with feeling of depression, guilt and anger are also

observed among the mentally unbalanced refugee population. About 10-

40% of the refugees are found to reflect the symptoms of PTSD while 50-

90% of the children and adolescent population are found to become

susceptible towards this particular mental syndrome. The post

displacement factors particularly social isolation, identity crisis due to

absence of employment and financial support, presence of inadequate

justice towards the refugees can be enlisted as the other social factors

contributing to the deteriorated mental health situation of the refugees.

However the issue of interaction with the near environment study and

adjustments to a new geographical location along with cultural relocation

has also been pivotal socio-cultural factors in this respect. The presence of

ethnic minority groups within the refugee population can also be highlighted

with respect to the topic of discussion. Hence with reference to the social

model of ‘Acculturation’ the ethnic minority groups are considered as an

isolated group from the larger community.

Apart from the above mentioned factors that are considered as the prime

causal factors in degrading the mental health of the refugees it is also

important to mention the contribution of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

towards the improper cognitive functioning of the refugees. Additionally the

present of physical injuries like brain injury, malnutrition, psychological

distress particularly depression has resulted in the occurrence of

neuropsychological abnormalities adversely affecting the mental status of

the refugees.

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Mental health research program

Mental health programs for the refugees:

Exploring the present scenario of Australia with respect to the mental

health improvements of the refuges the care services are delivered under

the initiative of the governing body of Australia whereby such services are

provided by the Adult Multicultural Education Services or AMES, the Red

Cross and Life without Barriers and the AMES Humanitarian Settlement

Services Consortium. Hence in order to improve the overall mental health

of the refugees the Governing body of Victoria has emphasized on

implementation of specialist clinical mental health services with a

community based support service. The facilities for counseling the

survivors of trauma under the administration of the Victorian Foundation for

Survivors of Torture can be cited in this regard. This particular organization

also known as the Foundation House has provided specialized counseling

services to the refugees who have become the victims of trauma and

torture. The state governing body of Victoria, the Commonwealth

Government and the philanthropic trust organizations are the main funding

source supporting the mental healthcare services that are provided by the

various organizations. Apart from this the initiatives undertaken by the

Refugee Health Program, Refugee Health Fellow Program and the

Victorian Refuge Health Network can be put forwarded that has

considerable emphasize on improving the mental health of the refugees

and asylum seekers of Australia. The installation of the interpreting service

in order to remove the constraints faced due to language barrier has

contributed to better accessibility of the refugees. The example of ‘Health

Translation website’ can be cited in this respect.

Therefore with reference to the above cited examples it is justified to

mention that the Australian government has given considerable importance

regarding the mental health issues of the refugees and asylum seekers

whereby an initiative to deliver the optimal healthcare services to the

refugees has proven to produce positive results.

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Mental health research program

Conclusion:

To conclude it is justified to mention that the mental health of the refugees

are observed to be negatively affected by a number of social and cultural

factors wherein the psychological assessment of the refugees is not yet

properly developed. Therefore understanding the present scenario with

respect to the mental health situation of the refugees it is important to

emphasis on the proper psychological theory assessment. The practice of

disability evaluation along with medical evaluation of the mental health

status of the refugees is important to improve the overall mental health of

such population. Finally it can be inferred that in order to improve the

mental health situation of the refugees it is important to completely

eliminate the practice of social discrimination, racism and the practice of

isolation based on cultural diversity. However emphasis is required to

restore the balance between the mental and physical health issues of the

refugees and this can be addressed with focus on reducing the occurrence

of disease along with emphasis on the health promotional activities.

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