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Mental health of refugee children: a discursive look at causes, considerations and interventions

Cleary, M ORCID: 0000-0002-1453-4850, West, S, Foong, A ORCID: 0000-0001-5956-4597, McLean, L and Kornhaber, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6556-6775 2019 , 'Mental health of refugee children: a discursive look at causes, considerations and interventions' , Issues in Mental Health Nursing , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1585494.

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There is a growing need both locally and internationally to manage the effects of traumatic andloss experiences on the development and recovery of refugee children and young people. Trauma,whether active or through deprivation, is degenerative, with crucial impact on developing bodies,brains and minds. This discursive article considers the nature and scope of the problem and drawson literature and current frameworks to suggest the importance of interventions and proactive protectionof mental health for this sub-group of refugees. School is discussed as a place of primaryintervention but also a player in creative and sophisticated multimodal integrative services. A rangeof approaches can be, and, indeed are used in response to mental health issues for children indetention or upon resettlement. Schooling represents one such solution, providing a multi-prongedapproach to facilitate mental health improvement for these children. For children needing torecover from loss and trauma secondary to experiences as a refugee, school offers a developmentallyappropriate space to mobilise and enhance recovery, both at a simple level and as part ofmore specialised secondary and tertiary level care. The implications for future practice amonghealth care professionals is to understand the mental health plight of refugee children, throughboth their pre-arrival exposure to trauma and their post-arrival, detention setting, the key role thatschooling can play in facilitating mental health, and the capacity to advocate for programmes andservices to work collaboratively with schools to achieve greater access for refugee children.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Cleary, M and West, S and Foong, A and McLean, L and Kornhaber, R
Keywords: Mental Health, refugee, children, causes, interventions
Journal or Publication Title: Issues in Mental Health Nursing
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 0161-2840
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1585494
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

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