We’re pleased the government has opened a £2.5 million fund to help vulnerable young people and children from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Hong Kong, who have been forced to leave their own countries.
We, along with our partners, have long campaigned for better access to trauma-informed and culturally sensitive therapy. It’s great news that thousands of children and young people will be able to access much needed mental health support, counselling and therapy.
Long wait for mental health support
We know from our discussions with third sector organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers that once they reach the UK, they usually face a long wait for appropriate mental health support, and many find themselves having the additional challenge of navigating often overstretched and complicated routes to treatment, with little support.
Jeremy Bacon, our Third Sector Lead said:
“It’s encouraging that the psychological support needs of refugees are being recognised and that funding has been allocated for vital support services for children and young people.
“BACP organisational members specialising in providing therapy to refugees and asylum-seekers are well placed to work with the complex needs and trauma that is a common feature of the refugee experience.
“We greatly welcome this announcement and urge government to further recognise the psychological support needs of refugees of all ages arriving in the UK seeking safety from war, violence, conflict and persecution.”
Voluntary and community (VCSE) sector organisations in England are eligible for the fund which is open to applications until 1st November 2023. Details can be found in the fund prospectus.
The funding will also include providing English language courses, employment training and support into higher education to help young people integrate better into their local communities.
Refugee Week: Counselling rebuilding lives
Research Conference discussion explored the role of therapy in supporting displaced people
Displaced by war
Open article: Amy Bramley writes about finding meaning in her work with Ukrainian and Russian refugees. Thresholds, January 2023
Ukraine war: How to reassure children anxious about the conflict
The war comes after a difficult two years for young people dealing with the pandemic