Refugees to help care for migrants with mental health problems

Refugee doctors will be helping themselves and others in a programme to improve care for migrants with mental health problems, due to be launched on Wednesday (17 January).

The ‘Face to Face’ mentoring project will match 20 refugee doctors with asylum seekers and refugees using mental health services in London.

It is designed to help both the patients, who may find UK mental health practice confusing and could benefit from professionals with similar experiences and from similar backgrounds, and the doctors, by increasing their employability.

The west London-based Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum , which set up the scheme, said it knew of 82 refugee doctors registered to work in the UK but only 19 of them had jobs.

 “The mentees will benefit greatly from involvement with the refugee doctors, who can act as role models,” said David Palmer, deputy director of the MRCF. “Refugee doctors have to wait on average 18 months for their first training contract and so volunteering as a mentor is an excellent way to gain extra skills, knowledge and training.”

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