10 Psychological Health
As a consequence of their experiences, children of refugees have emotional injuries and these are often too complicated to diagnose and treat within the limits of daily medical routine (Sirin and Roger-Sirin, 2015; Fazel and Stein, 2002; Bronstein and Montgovmery, 2011). However, awareness of some symptoms could be helpful enough to detect problems, which might need investigation and treatment.
- enuresis, encopresis
- sleep disturbances
- change of behavior – depression, aggression, …
- loss of appetite
- school problems
- reduction of contact to friends, family members
- pain – chronic headache, body pain
- alcohol problems
- repeated collapse
- increasing weakness
In case of a suspected psychological illness do not hesitate to contact a hospital or an aid organization. [Link to sub-chapter 12 Helpful Links]
10.2 Domestic violence and sexual abuse
Cases of domestic violence or sexual abuse need interdisciplinary support. Be aware of it and search for support when it is suspected (UNHCR, 2003; UN Women, 2013).
- The shelter of a victim goes first! e.g. contact youth welfare service and ask for support
- Make detailed documentation about all symptoms or reported information. When available make photos!
- Communicate your suspicion with the caregivers and offer help.
- Please try to signal understanding and willingness of cooperation, not condemnation.
- Take care that the future environment of the child is safe.