Psychosocial Needs of Refugees from Burma: A Social Work Perspective

Author: Audrey Tyszka, Thesis 2011

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for increased awareness regarding the psychosocial needs of refugees from Burma and the services they may require. Due to the current influx in resettlement of Burmese refugees, a greater focus needs to be placed on effective social work with culturally diverse groups. Refugees from Burma have experienced an immense amount of trauma and loss, which must be understood in order to foster the recovery process. This paper draws on the literature, my experience as a social work intern at the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants project that identifies best practices for work with refugees and immigrants at the University at Albany. It will explain the significance of cultural competence, in association with service delivery, the use of an interpreter, and identifying mental health conditions in recently resettled refugees from Burma. Implications for social work will be discussed in order to demonstrate the necessity and difficulty of social work with such a marginalized group.

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