Mental health care for refugees

Posted by Flux on 

3 August 2018

In 2015, a team of clinical psychologists from the Netherlands set out to understand how adolescent refugees deal with adversity. After counselling 200 refugees and asylum seekers between the ages of 10 and 20, the team found that while young refugees are resilient when dealing with hardship and stress, their problems do not end when they have settled. Instead, young refugees are at risk of developing a range of mental, emotional and behavioural issues such as PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression.

In response to the findings, we will continue to see more medical practitioners recognise the mental health issues of the displaced generation and find ways to tackle this crisis, by addressing the benefits of solutions that offer long-term rehabilitation to refugee youth.

Below are some innovative ways of caring for the mentally fragile refugees.

AI powered counselling

Karim is a chatbot specifically created to assist Syrian refugees in the Lebanon. Created by X2AI and Field Innovation Team (FIT) , the chatbot provides personalised text conversations in Arabic to assist people struggling with emotional challenges.

Above: Karim AI helps Syrian refugees through trauma

Human mental health support

Humanity Crew is an international aid organisation that deploys mental health workers to assist people in crisis. They hope to give people in distressing humanitarian crises instant mental health care, before it escalates into a more futile condition.

Above: A case for bringing mental health support to refugees

Gaming as a mental health solution

A group of researchers from New York University’s Steinhardt School  have studied the educational and mental health needs of Syrian refugee children in Turkey. Finding that many children suffered from PTSD , the research team developed an online game named Project Hope. The game aims to improve the children’s grasp of the Turkish language, to develop their coding skills while reducing their sense of despair.

By Khumo Theko

Flux Trends’ experts are available for comment and interviews. For all media enquiries please contact Tshepo Narvis on 

We have a Transhumanism Open Session in Cape Town on 8th of August 2018.  

Image credit: IFMSA AND Open Society Foundations  AND TED Blog/ Laurence Geai AND WEForum/ Reuters/ Ammar Awad
Video credit: Reuters  AND TED

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