Mental Health matters for refugees
Updated: Oct 22, 2022
Factors like political persecution, hunger, and insecurity force people to leave their homelands, making them refugees. Refugees' traumatic experiences in their daily lives harm their mental health.
The dangerous circumstances they endure leads to a period of ambiguity, leading to much anxiety. During this time, political violence begins to manifest itself in the society in which these refugees live. Widespread insecurity and political unrest hinder them from engaging in significant economic activities.
Refugees are witnesses to tensions building up among political groups. As this escalates, violence increases and people are more exposed to various forms like murder, sexual assault, and general insecurity. Such instances affect the mentality of refugees in devastating ways.
Wars cause families to separate. This impacts the well-being of everyone involved, especially children, making them highly vulnerable. These conflicts put children's safety in danger because they expose them to horrific acts of violence and suffering. This harms their psychological growth. When a child is removed from their family, they are deprived of the care they need to grow up healthy. These children's early independence prevents them from being able to enroll in school. In the worst cases, boys are used as warriors, while girls are made into sex slaves.
Refugees are made to live in deplorable circumstances that include overcrowding, poor cleanliness, inadequate shelter, and insufficient food supply, making it challenging for refugees to engage in productive activities that will support their families and themselves. Apart from this, depression, anxiety, and PTSD are pretty prevalent among the refugee population.
Every single day in the life of a refugee is filled with uncertainty, worry, and fear. Most of us cannot even imagine what it must be like to leave the place we call home, the people we call family, and walk into unknownness, unsure if we will live to see the sun give light to a new day. We, as Rethinking Refugees, stand for the overall welfare of refugees.
Photo © ifmsa.org