Assessing mental health and service needs among refugees in Malaysia

Shaw, Stacey Anne and Pillai, Veena and Ward, Kaitlin P. (2018) Assessing mental health and service needs among refugees in Malaysia. International Journal of Social Welfare, 28 (1). pp. 44-52. ISSN 1369-6866, DOI

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Refugees in Malaysia often experience economic insecurity and poverty, poor health, poor mental wellbeing and limited legal rights. Using a survey with quantitative measures and open-ended questions, we assessed socio-demographic characteristics, mental health (RHS-15), and service needs, including interest in group support services, among 86 Dari- and Arabic-speaking refugees living in Kuala Lumpur. High levels of emotional distress were found, as nearly all participants scored positive for distress and average scores were 2.5 times above the cut-off signifying distress. Distress scores did not vary based on most factors examined, although being married was associated with lower levels of distress. All but one participant expressed interest in participating in a support group. Barriers to potential participation included childcare, sickness and transportation. Additional mental health and social supports are needed among refugees residing in Malaysia. Key Practitioner Message: • Emotional distress is high among Dari- and Arabic-speaking refugees sampled in Malaysia; • Participants expressed strong interest in accessing supportive mental health services, including group supports.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya Research Grant (UMRG-RP009), Carefugees, Brigham Young University
Uncontrolled Keywords: Displaced populations; International migration; International social work; Malaysia; Refugees; Trauma; Women's issues
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 01:04
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2019 01:04

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