Many factors influence our mental health, especially as a refugee or an asylum seeker. It is not only about what might have happened to us and to our communities, but also about:
We may also feel under stress about the process of our integration and adaptation in Britain, our experiences of housing issues, jobs, schools, transport, the environment, the language barrier, as well as the ways we live our lives. Perhaps after much unhappiness, if we do not seek appropriate help, we may be left with invisible wounds or many unanswered questions, as well as practical problems in managing our day to day lives, and the life of our children or our dependants.
Many of the counsellors and psychotherapists at the Refugee Therapy Centre have been refugees themselves, and they want to help refugees who may find their lives difficult here in the UK and would like some help. We can listen with respect and sometimes contribute from our own experience and knowledge. People may wish to see a psychotherapist or counsellor who speaks their own language or they may prefer to see an English speaker. We take into account the fact that some patients prefer not to see someone from their own cultural background, due to feelings of mistrust, guilt, shame or embarrassment and also the intensity of emotion and pain.
If you would like to know more, please contact the Centre. We receive written referrals from mental health professionals, Refugee Community Organisations, GPs, Social Services and schools. Individuals who wish to self refer should speak with their GP and ask them to refer them to our service. If the Centre's resources and services are considered suitable this may lead to a conversation with an assessor - someone a person can talk to about his or her situation and needs. After that, if it feels right for the individual, he or she might go on to meet a counsellor or psychotherapist who they can talk to for an hour at the same time each week, for as long as needed.