Health professionals are likely to be the first people that a family turns to for help with an illness or disability. Whether you work in the hospital or community, with adults or children you may be the only person who is able to ask the right questions to find out whether a child is taking on caring responsibilities. Timely intervention could prevent a child undertaking inappropriate levels of care.

A study by the British Medical Association (BMA)  (2002) Asylum seekers: meeting their healthcare needs­ suggests that one in six refugees has a physical health problem severe enough to affect their life and two thirds have experienced significant anxiety or depression.

In addition to experiencing similar health problems to the rest of the UK population refugees and asylum seekers also suffer from a range of physical and mental health problems often linked to human rights abuses and persecution, including torture, in their countries of origin that they escaped from. Refugees may have experienced harsh conditions during their journey to the UK. They may be separated from their families, and be coping with stress and insecurity.

Refugees and asylum seekers may experience barriers to receiving appropriate treatment and care.

Useful Links

DH: Asylum Seekers and refugees