Psychosocial support for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal

Reiffers, R., Dahal, R. P., Koirala, S., Gerritzen, R., Upadhaya, N., Luitel, N. P., … & Jordans, M. J. (2013). Psychosocial support for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Intervention, 11(2), 169-179.

For more than 20 years, thousands of Bhutanese refugees have been living in refugee camps in eastern Nepal, in an uncertain and challenging situation. Now, the possibility of resettlement is bringing even more challenges into their lives. In recognition of this situation, the nongovernmental organisation Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation Nepal provides psychosocial support to this group, in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees and other humanitarian agencies. This field report provides an overview of the psychosocial issues, interventions and implications, as well as lessons learned. It also includes the case study of a refugee. Direct psychosocial support, psycho-education and capacity development are major elements of the programme provided, not only to refugees, but also to the host community and aid workers as well. Recommendations include: continuing and strengthening services for both refugee and host communities, increasing attention to vulnerable groups (such as the elderly), and enhancing links and cooperation with local and international services and structures.

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