Potential barriers in the therapeutic relationship in unaccompanied refugee minors in mental health
journal contributionposted on 13.04.2018, 15:32 by Pallab Majumder, Panos Vostanis, Khalid Karim, Michelle O'Reilly
Background: Unaccompanied refugee minors present with disproportionately high prevalence of emotional and psychological morbidities. However, their utilization of mental health services has been shown to be significantly poorer than the indigenous population of the country they seek asylum in. Despite this, there is limited research exploring their perspectives on the barriers they face. Aims: This research aims to understand unaccompanied refugee minors’ and their carers’ perceptions of the barriers to utilize mental health services and to explore issues perceived to be related to poor engagement with services. Methods: Semi-structured interviews with fifteen unaccompanied refugee minors and their carers were conducted. This was to elicit their views, perceptions and beliefs based on their experience of receiving treatment from a specialist mental health service in the UK. Results: Thematic analysis was used and the findings were categorised into two broad themes; the participants' perceptions of the intervention and perceptions of the professionals. Salient aspects of these are discussed. Conclusions: The findings have potential to stimulate further research into gaining a better understanding of the barriers these young people face in accessing help, and may contribute to developing services that are more efficient in engaging this vulnerable group and meeting their specific needs.