Mental Health and Addiction Prevention for former refugees: We do it together

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 10:50 to 12:20


Many refugees have mental health problems due to traumatic events. Not only mental health but also substance abuse problems are present in these group. Although there are professional prevention websites in their native tongue, the use thereof is not optimal. Mental health literacy is low, shame and stigma are present in this group. Furthermore, the number of people treated for these problems is less than expected based on prevalence data.

In November 2021 our 3-year project started. It is a collaboration between prevention workers, experts on the field of culture sensitive communication and researchers, working closely with young Syrian and Eritrean residence holders. The overall project goal is to reach former Syrian and Eritrean refugees that have mental health and substance use problems.

Our first aim is to develop an new prevention strategy. Young Syrians and Eritreans give input on how they seek help, who they trust and their view on mental health of substance use problems. They comment on existing websites. Students from digital design (AUAS) will renew them based on the design thinking method.

Our second aim is to adapt an motivational interviewing (MI) intervention based on mental health and substance use assessment in way. Both Syrians, Eritreans and experts in culture sensitive communication work together with the project team in developing the adapted MI intervention.

Both the new strategy and the adapted MI intervention will be piloted from September 2022 onwards. Preliminary results will be presented.

This project is funded by FNO Geestkracht


Presentation files

23 107 1050 Jannet De Jonge_v1.0.pdf375.81 KBDownload



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