Paraprofessional Counselling within Asylum Seekers' Groups in the Netherlands: TransferrinG an Approach for a Non-western Context to a European Setting

Barbara Kieft*, Mark J.d. Jordans, Joop T.v.m. de Jong, Astrid M. Kamperman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article presents the application of a psychosocial care approach, which has been developed for and in a non-western context, within an asylum seekers' setting in the Netherlands. The project aimed to increase access to basic psychosocial care to a target population that experiences difficulties in entering mental healthcare services, by a group of trained peer asylum seekers and refugees. The development of an informal paraprofessional support system makes better use of existing resources, provides secondary benefits for the participants and helps to overcome the treatment gap between perceived needs and the formal mental healthcare system. The article describes the key components of such an approach, the Dutch context, the project implementation and finishes with a discussion on outcomes, strengths and weaknesses, risks and recommendations. In summary, we found this community approach to be applicable and relevant within an asylum seekers' centre, as it incorporates an additional easy-access level of psychosocial care and social agency, which seemed to empower participants and help prevent psychosocial problems from becoming more severe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalTranscultural Psychiatry
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

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