Asylum seekers with special needs lack services

Two-thirds of asylum seekers with special needs lack access to
counselling services, according to a study published by the Refugee
Council today, writes Maria Ahmed.

Although 82 per cent of asylum seekers interviewed said they had
mental health issues, many of the participants had not declared
their needs to the National Asylum Support Service because they
feared being stigmatised or disbelieved.

The study of 50 asylum seekers staying in emergency
accommodation in London revealed that only one third received a
community care assessment with an average waiting time of four
weeks, with some cases taking twice as long.

Disputes between local authorities and NASS over who should take
responsibility for the social care needs of an individual were
cited as the main reason for delays.

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