Treatment and Services Study

The treatment studies provided preliminary evidence that both Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (Smajkic et al, 2001) and testimony psychotherapy may lead to improvements in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depressive symptoms, and to improvements in functioning, amongst refugee adults (Weine et al, 1998). However, what was just as notable was how many refugees chose not to participate in treatment at all or having received effective treatments decided to drop out.   That lead us to conduct several studies of refugee mental health services, including a study of access (Weine et al, 2000) and an investigation of the roles of providers’ attitudes and approaches in the delivery of effective mental health services for refugees (Weine et al, 2001). This last effort revealed that amongst service providers, there was substantial misinformation and stigma concerning mental health symptoms of refugees and their treatment. It also revealed that providers were not doing enough to educate individual clients, family members, or community members about the effects of trauma on individual and family mental health.

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