For some time, the prevalence and increased risk of depressive disorders in people from conflict-affected backgrounds resettling in a new high-income country has been well recognised. Australia is one such country, and numerous studies have found that both men and women – but particularly women – have increase prevalence of major depressive disorders.
As an organisation, we are always concerned about the high level of confusion, fear, and uncertainty that exists among refugee populations coming to resettle in Australia. Language gaps, information gaps and the mental health impact of knowing one is under-privileged can all play their part in making it different for refugees to truly settle.
This is all the more true for what is happening during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There is a great deal of anxiety about this amongst people are from refugee and conflict-affected backgrounds, and amongst those do not have English as a first language.
In response to this concern a new website has been launched: The COVID-19 Support Australian Refugees (CSAR): https://csar.net.au/
Muslim Women Australia is proud to support this website, which is intended to provide refugees, migrants and conflict-affected Australians with access to mental health and other supports. It also provides information on the most up to date information about the pandemic and provide links to services such as the Refugee Council of Australia webpage (https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/) and to the links associated with general health and prevention of COVID-19.
Free Mind Body Practices for Trauma & Resiliency (In English and Arabic)
The body behind the initiative is also hosting free trauma-informed mind/body workshops for anyone accessing the site with the internationally renowned Gina de la Chesnaye. The program targets people from refugee or immigrant background, and service providers working with these
groups. It can be accessed here: https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/mind-body-resiliency
This online series is specifically designed to help alleviate the symptoms of stress and distress – anxiety, depression, anger, dissociation – especially by those experiencing social and economic hardship due to the coronavirus and are also trauma survivors having come from conflict affected countries.
We encourage all in the broader MWA family and those in the Muslim community to share these resources with those who may need them. A summary of key links an guide to the websites are below:
- The COVID-19 Support Australian Refugees (CSAR): https://csar.net.au/
- Mind Body Practices for Trauma & Resiliency (Arabic, English): https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/mind-body-resiliency
Visit the CSAR website by clicking above