The process of migration has been described as occurring in broadly three stages, each of them involves the potential for traumatogenic experiences:
(b) migration – the physical relocation to the new place and
(c) post-migration – the assimilation within the cultural framework of the new society, through learning its cultural rules.
Prior to and during migration, refugees are exposed to exceptionally high rates of traumatic events such as war, violence, torture and persecution; some become subjects of human trafficking, and may be held for ransom or trafficked for the purpose of forced marriage, sexual exploitation or labor exploitation.
Post-migration adverse experiences, such as lack of social support, acculturation difficulties, poverty, discrimination and changes in identity and concept of self, further complicate the mental problems in those who have been previously traumatized.
Children are exceptionally vulnerable to these traumatic experiences, which will affect them and their communities. In order to mitigate those effects, we utilize an interdisciplinary team of professionals and the broader community to instill safety and hope for a better future.
Bhugra, D., & Becker, M. A. (2005). Migration, cultural bereavement and cultural identity. World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 4(1), 18-24.