Refugees with mental health issues suffer in public housing
Posted by Christopher Coen on August 11, 2011
Refugees with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and other mental health issues struggle tremendously in the rigorous challenges of resettlement. Reporters with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism are taking a look at the issue in that resettlement country. An article in the Reportage magazine tells more:
Over the last 3 days, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism has documented the appalling conditions suffered by people living with mental illness in public housing in western Sydney.
Their testimonies, and those of the health workers who care for them, describe repeated harassment, victimisation and bullying by neighbours. Some have received death threats. Yet their pleas for help go unheeded by Housing NSW – who refuse to acknowledge any duty of care.
Today this special investigation looks at the plight of one especially vulnerable group – refugees. Many are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of horrific experiences in their countries of origin.
But a study published recently in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry found that while traumatic experiences in their home country contributed to “substantial proportions” of psychological distress among refugees, their post-settlement experiences had an even greater effect on their mental health…
…There’s no shortage of research on the mental health and housing challenges faced by refugees. Yet another report from the Refugee Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, The Settlement Experiences of Refugees and Migrants from the Horn of Africa, identified housing as one of the main obstacles to the successful settlement of refugees with mental health issues…
…Yet despite a plethora of reports and research, the health and housing bureaucracies in NSW seem incapable of acknowledging there’s a problem. Read more here