Preventive mental health interventions for refugee children and adolescents in high-income settings

Elsevier, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, Volume 2, February 2018
Fazel M., Betancourt T.S.

The mental health of refugee children and adolescents is a multifaceted phenomenon that needs to be understood and addressed across multiple sectors that influence all potential determinants of health, including housing, education, economic opportunities, and the larger policy and political context including immigration. The current state of interventions to address mental health problems in refugee children is limited and even more so for prevention programmes. This Review describes interventions of note that are delivered to individuals as well as parenting and school interventions, and broader socioeconomic and cultural interventions. Few studies aim to assess impact across multiple domains of the refugee experience. The multidimensional and collective character of challenges facing refugee children and families calls for comprehensive psychosocial interventions through which healing the psychological wounds of war is complemented by restoring and supporting the social and physical environment so that it is one in which children and their families can thrive.