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Strang, Alison; Quinn, N (2014)
Publisher: Queen Margaret University; NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Positive Mental Attitudes
Languages: English
Types: Book
“Having all these different relationships - that helps you progress.”\ud (Iranian refugee participant, discussion group 3)\ud Government, policy makers and service providers across Scotland are committed to promoting inclusion and equality in health and well-being for the 2,400 asylum seekers and further 20,000 people with refugee status remaining in Scotland.2 However, this population face multiple challenges to integration, well-being and mental health (Watters, 2001; Castles et al., 2002; Threadgold & Court, 2005; Procter, 2006; Ager & Strang, 2008; Phillimore, 2012; Quinn, 2013). Currently most asylum seekers in Scotland are single men arriving alone which leaves them very vulnerable to poor mental health exacerbated by isolation and exclusion. This study draws on the work of the ‘Sanctuary programme’ (Quinn et al., 2011) and the ‘Indicators of Integration’ study (Ager & Strang, 2008) to explore understandings of mental health and well-being and relate these to social connection amongst refugees in Glasgow.\ud Aims and approach of the study\ud The study sought to access a ‘hard-to-reach’ group: thirty single men from Iran and Afghanistan were recruited to a series of research workshops held during 2013. The workshops combined participatory activities, presentations from service providers, individual tasks and group discussions. A qualified mental health professional provided support and advice as needed. The data was collated to produce ‘maps’ of social connections indicating the spectrum of social ‘bonds’, ‘bridges’ and ‘links’3 accessed by participants, along with levels of trust and reciprocity of relationships. Systematic thematic analysis was used to capture issues emerging from group discussion on understandings of mental health and well-being.
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