The end of Refugee Week
Posted Monday 27 June 2011
Yesterday marked the end of Refugee Week and the end of Mind’s series of blogs on refugee mental health. The series has provoked some interesting responses from our supporters on the blog and on our Facebook page, and has been retweeted repeatedly.
For some people, it was the message of the importance of providing sanctuary that struck a chord.
I'd like to think that if I needed to escape to another country for their reasons that I'd be received with humanity
I think this is a really powerful statement: the idea that what binds us together is a shared experience as humans, something that transcends culture and language and nationality.
That shared experience might be depression, anxiety and fear and by making contact with others who have also endured mental health problems, we can find a source of support, strength and a common voice.
Another supporter said
It would not be good for Mind to re-enforce any divisions and neglect an often vulnerable group
Mind takes pride in representing the voices of all people with mental health problems, but particularly the most marginalised and vulnerable.
As survivors of mental health problems, we know what it is to be socially excluded. It’s too easy to ignore the voices that can’t be heard above the most articulate, well-connected or confident. By joining together in solidarity with fellow survivors, our voice is much louder.
Mainstream mental health services are supposed to be for everyone in the community. We know that they are failing refugees and this is why Mind includes their voices in our work.
All too often, large charities leave it to small, under-resourced, local voluntary organisations to speak for these groups. Mind works in partnership with refugee support organisations including Freedom From Torture, Refugee Council, Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, and Asylum Aid because we share their commitment to better quality, more inclusive and responsive services. By working together, we can maximise our resources and strengthen our voice.
Sile Reynolds, Mind Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer
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