The right location? Experiences of refugee adolescents seen by school-based mental health services.
Fazel M., Garcia J., Stein A.
Access to needed mental health services can be particularly difficult for newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking adolescents, although many attend school. This study examined young refugees' impressions and experience of mental health services integrated within the school system. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 adolescent refugees discharged by three school-based mental health services across the United Kingdom. Two-thirds preferred to be seen at school. Rumination and worry about insecurity in the asylum process had a negative impact particularly on the adolescents' social functioning and ability to focus at school. The important role played by teachers in supporting and mediating contact with mental health services was valued by those interviewed. The study confirms that schools offer an important location for mental health services for adolescent refugees and provide an important portal for integration of services.