Psychotherapists working with Trauma Foundation South-West write about the extra challenges they and their clients face during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the covid-19 crisis, we at Trauma Foundation South West recognise that, although many of us have to self-isolate and public buildings are closed, our refugee and asylum seeker client’s need for support is even more important.
We are making sure that all our clients are in contact with their therapist by telephone and by messaging. Some who have the necessary equipment can also be in contact by Skype or similar.
Taking on new clients is going to be more challenging but we will do our best
It's important for us all to heed the latest advice form experts, including social distancing.
Our Charitable purpose (in brief) is to:
To make provisions which help towards improving the mental health of refugees and asylum seekers and others traumatised by war and conflict
To understand and to promote understanding in those affected by war, conflict and persecution by providing psychotherapeutic interventions for those thus affected
Providing supervision and training for staff in Tfsw and other agencies and charities in Bristol
To mount conferences and other events which promote an understanding of the effects of war on individuals and peoples globally
Our main focus is therapeutic
But we feel that it is important to provide some practical assistance for our clients who find dealing with British officials difficult and puzzling. For instance, we signpost to other agencies and sometimes we need to extend our usual role by helping with letters from officials and writing expert reports to doctors, lawyers, tribunals, housing officers, job centres etc.
Asylum seekers and refugees often present with complex needs as a result of past traumatic experiences including the after-effects of torture, rape, violent incidents, loss of family members, home, culture, lack of recognition in society, and concern about loved ones left at home or missing.
Once in the host country, clients often suffer from high levels of anxiety about the complex asylum process in the UK. They worry about accommodation, money, education, access to legal advice, detention, fear of deportation or destitution and homelessness.