YOUNG REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
The Sea Change Trust is working on a pilot project offering psychotherapy to young refugees and asylum seekers in Shropshire who have been identified as most in need.
In 2018, more than 35,000 people were forced to flee their homes every day – that’s one every two seconds. The Refugee Council reports that 61% of asylum seekers experience serious mental distress, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They also report that refugees are 5 times more likely to have mental health needs than the UK population.
We know that mental health support can make a real difference. On offering 1:1 counselling to children and young people, the Refugee Council reports that 73% of children reported an improvement in relation to feelings of loss and separation. 68% said that they were able to sleep better and 50% reported fewer suicidal feelings.
Shropshire is home to a growing number of refugee families with young children, and unaccompanied asylum seekers in their teens. There are currently approximately 32 families living in Shropshire. These young people have suffered many losses and deep trauma. In order to access education and integrate into their new communities, they often need specialist psychological help which is not available in existing services.
We are working in partnership with Shropshire Supports Refugees, the Local Education Service and local schools and colleges to support young refugees and asylum seekers.
The three key differences we hope to make to these children and young people are greater emotional stability, increased capacity to access education, and improved peer relationships. We will monitor these outcomes together with the young people, parents or carers and teachers.