May 22, 2019

Refugee Mental Health Awareness

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What is first aid? Red Cross describes it as 'care for people in crisis as they wait for medical professionals to arrive'. Normally we associate this with emergencies involving bodily harm, however first aid is just as vital for psychological trauma. Mental health first aid is identifying, understanding and responding to signs of a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. This type of care is especially important in vulnerable and underserved populations. Migration due to war, terror, and disastrous conditions in one's native country is often a traumatic experience and warrants immediate psychological care to mitigate further suffering. In the video below, Essam Doad addresses the global refugee crisis and describes how early intervention and memory re-framing decreases future development of PTSD symptoms.  Such a mental health crisis has implications not only for migratory populations, but societal culture as a whole as we integrate. Awareness is the first stepping stone toward making a difference.

International Rescue Committee, an organization dedicated to serving displaced communities, offers numerous volunteer opportunies for those who want to get involved. 
Click here to view their volunteer page