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The psychological treatment of refugees and asylum seekers : what does the literature tell us?

University of Western Australia * School of European Languages
Publication Date
  • 170106 Health Clinical And Counselling Psychology
  • Refugees
  • Asylum Seekers
  • Treatment
  • Review
  • Australia
  • Medicine
  • Political Science
  • Psychology


Over the past five years, Australia has accepted approximately 50 000 individuals through its Humanitarian program. To integrate these individuals specialised medical and psychological services have been established in major centres of Australia. Australia has been involved in a heated and partisan debate as to the policy of the government in responding to the refugee situation. Regardless of the outcome of the debate, it is imperative that Australia establishes and develops effective policies and processes to respond to the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers. To this end, the current review provides an overview of published studies relating to the psychological treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as studies covering the delivery of related services in response to the needs of this group. In this review we aim to provide an informed perspective in terms of research evidence where this is available. Reported research is supported by findings from local focus groups conducted in Queensland, Australia. The overall aim is to provide an optimum response to facilitate the development of effective and humane programs for a significantly disadvantaged group in our community.

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