Refugee and Asylum Seeker children suffer major mental health problems at school. Their problems as refugees - flight, trauma, torture, disappearance of relatives - are compounded by stigmatisation, bullying and language difficulties. Working therapeutically with parents and children begins to help them to integrate, overcome fears and anxities, and understand how to cope with wider society.
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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1073759)
The Bridge Foundation has worked at the City Academy in inner Bristol and has helped many refugee and asylum seeker children - mainly Somali - to come to terms with their new lives and to begin a more normal existence. This work needs to be sustained - more work is needed with parents; more work is needed with the school; more work is needed to extend the experience from the Academy to other schools in need of support. Resources are needed to maintain the trained therapists who work with children and parents, as well as to fund the interpreters who play a crucial role in the conselling processes. More time and resources need to be given to evaluating how Bridge services are helping and what impact they have. The service costs around ¬£35,000 per year. Help to keep it going for another three years.
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