Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day, a day designated by the United Nations to raise public awareness of mental health issues. Mental health remains a stigmatized issue, which is especially true within migrant and refugee communities. It is important that mental health services are able to support migrants and refugees—but not all organisations are equipped or knowledgeable about some of the issues we face.
Below are a few organisations that do excellent work and may be a good place if you need to refer someone for support.
[h3]Freedom from Torture[/h3]
Freedom from Torture, formerly the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, has been working for 25 years to provide direct clinical services to survivors of torture who arrive in the UK, as well as striving to protect and promote their rights.
Address: 111 Isledon Road, Islington, London, N7 7JW
Tel: 020 7697 7777
[h3]Helen Bamber Foundation[/h3]
The Helen Bamber Foundation is a UK-based human rights organisation that works with survivors of genocide, torture, trafficking and rape by providing them with practical support and treatment to deal with their pasts and build new futures.
Address: 5 Museum House, 25 Museum Street, London, WC1A 1JT
Tel: 020 7631 4492
[h3]Refugee Therapy Centre[/h3]
The Refugee Therapy Centre offers expertise in the delivery of an integrated and user-friendly mental health service for people who have endured considerable trauma and forced displacement. The Centre provides psychotherapy, counselling and associated treatments to refugees and asylum seekers in their own language.
Address: 1A Leeds Place, Tollington Park, London, N4 3RF
Tel: 020 7561 1587
[h3]Waterloo Community Counselling[/h3]
Waterloo Community Counselling helps people resolve emotional issues, reduce anxiety and depression, and gain self-confidence. Individual and group counselling is offered in English and a range of other languages.
Address: Barley Mow Clinic, London, SE1 7BD
Tel: 0207 928 3462
Westminster Mind provides mental health services including counselling, a treatment programme for people with agoraphobia, a befriending scheme called Flexicare, and support to get into voluntary work.
Address: 5 Eccleston Street, London SW1W 9LZ
Tel: 020 7259 8100
[h3]Traumatic Stress Clinic[/h3]
The Traumatic Stress Clinic provides specialist mental health care for post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) to children, adolescents and adults. Refugees and asylum seekers account for over half of the referrals to the Clinic. The Clinic’s typical treatment modalities include a range of cognitive behavioural interventions. This is an NHS service, so referrals are required for treatment. Referrals are available from your care co-ordinator, GP/local doctor, or a specialist mental health service.
Address: Margaret Pyke Centre, 3rd Floor 73 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4PL
Tel: 020 7530 3666
[h3]Forced Migration Trauma Centre[/h3]
The Forced Migration Trauma Service work with people who have experienced trauma and/or forced migration. The team offers a range of services, including social, mental health and emotional support; assessment and implementation of care needs; and treatments including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and other psychological therapies to help individuals in need. This is an NHS service, so referrals are required for treatment. Referrals are available from your care co-ordinator, GP/local doctor, or a specialist mental health service.
Address: Waterview Centre 7a Woodfield Road, London, W9 2NW
Tel: 020 7266 9575
It’s important to remember the cultural differences embedded in discussing mental health—some refugees see counselling and other mental health services as extremely stigmatized. In 2009, a report by MIND found a limited availability of mental health services for refugees with intermediate mental health issues, torture victims, and child refugees. Their report recommends increased hiring of translators and working with local authorities as well as partnering with refugee community organisations to increase advocacy.
So today, on World Mental Health Day, we want to add our voice with the United Nations and encourage all migrants and refugees who think they may be struggling with their mental health to reach out.
[h3]You’re not alone. The Forum and many other organisations are here to help.[/h3]