Psycho-education and Psychosocial Support in The Netherlands: a program by and for refugees

Uitterhaegen, B. (2005). Psycho-education and psychosocial support in the Netherlands; a program by and for refugees. Intervention, 3(2), 141-147.

This article is about a community based intervention program in the Netherlands. In this program, asylum seekers and refugees are trained to provide psycho-education and psychosocial support to fellow groups of refugees and asylum seekers. These trained refugees work in their own language and culture, with a professional coach from a local mental health institute. The group courses consist of psycho-education, psychosocial support and empowerment. On the one hand, they raise awareness of problems like trauma, mourning, stress, feelings of guilt, acculturation, alcohol and drug abuse. On the other hand they teach participants to cope with these problems, rediscover their strength and have confidence in their ability to move forward. Referral takes place when the need for further professional help (e.g. therapy) is identified. In this paper, emphasis is put on the training of trainers.

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