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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2015 Mar;61(2):129-36. doi: 10.1177/0020764014537236. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

'This doctor, I not trust him, I'm not safe': the perceptions of mental health and services by unaccompanied refugee adolescents.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, The Greenwood Institute, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
2
School of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, The Greenwood Institute, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK mjo14@le.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Unaccompanied refugee adolescents are a small but clinically significant group. This group is vulnerable with physical and psychiatric needs which are often not met. There are several barriers to providing care for this group, originating with the refugees but also due to service provision.

AIMS:

The aim of this research is to appreciate the views and perceptions that unaccompanied minors hold about mental health and services.

METHOD:

Fifteen unaccompanied adolescents engaged with mental health services were interviewed, and thematic analysis was employed to explore relevant issues.

DISCUSSION:

Their views reflected a range of opinions on mental health and the treatments they received, but many held negative attitudes toward mental health and had a lack of trust in services. This could be explained by their descriptions of their experiences within their home country of psychiatric care, their experiences of being a refugee/asylum-seeker or cultural differences.

CONCLUSION:

We argue it is important to engage this group in the development of policy and practice in child mental health, and in developing services.

KEYWORDS:

Refugee adolescents; mental health; perceptions; qualitative; stigma

PMID:
24898523
DOI:
10.1177/0020764014537236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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