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Refugees need more mental healthcare services

09 Aug 2018, 01:46 ( 10 Months ago) | updated: 09 Aug 2018, 11:22 ( 10 Months ago)

DF Report
Asylum seekers are seen to playing football at a reception centre. DF Photo.

The lone mental healthcare service unit for asylum seekers in the country is not enough to provide them with smooth services.

Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) set up the unit at Lahti two years ago, but the 20-bed unit remains full and a large number of asylum seekers remain waiting on a long queue, reported the national broadcaster Yle quoting officials at the unit.

The unit cares for asylum seekers with mental health problems in need of supervision or counselling.

“Most [of them] suffer from past events,” the Yle report quoted Johann Kiander of the Lahti asylum seeker reception centre as saying.

“Some have endured dangerous trips across the continent or are victims of trafficking. Others are traumatised by war or worry about missing relatives,” Kiander told Yle.

About 9,000 out of 11,400 asylum seekers living in the country’s reception centres have received negative decisions. Their disappointment following negative asylum decisions have had negative impacts on their mental health.

“There is a constant queue at the facility,” Migri Senior Inspector Päivi Hieta told Yle.

Migri’s reception centre chief Kimmo Lehto told Yle that another mental health unit is needed and the agency has already requested the interior ministry for funding.