The number of refugee children is the highest it has been since the end of World War Two, with the Syrian Civil War contributing considerably to the forced displacement of children currently in the world. As a result of the high numbers and the many different countries hosting refugees across the world, in both high, middle and low-income countries, the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry team felt it was important to develop something that could be accessible to as many different people as possible.
The podcasts focus on how to assess the needs of refugee children, how to think about their family, the school environment, and their communities, as mental health outcomes are influenced by all of these components. The podcasts are also used to describe some commonly used psychological therapies to help anyone that is working with refugees to better understand and inform themselves of these treatment options.
Refugee children's mental health can be the crucial determinant of whether or not that child is able to settle and learn at school, whether they are able to make friends and plan their future contribution to their family and society. - Mina Fazel
Associate Professor Mina Fazel, Child Psychiatrist and Researcher at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said, "There are many factors that can impact on the mental health of these children, many of these can be quite simple interventions that can be introduced in schools or in communities. It is therefore essential that we learn more about their needs and try and support them in their countries of resettlement. We ask those working with refugee children to use this resource to better understand children’s mental health needs and how they can make a difference by helping them!”
The podcast series developed by Esther Schroeder with Mina Fazel includes discussions from professionals and academics, such as, child psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, education and social care experts.
Mina Fazel continues, "Knowing how best to support the children isn't rocket science and you don't need experts all the time. With a better understanding and appreciation of what can be done, we believe that these interventions described in the podcasts can be of great assistance to refugee children and their families. Psychological therapies can be confusing and difficult to understand, which might impact on whether or not a refugee family seeks help. Providing more information can be an important component of improving access to care and these podcasts aim to do that."