In Sweden, on approval of permanent residential permit, refugees enter an individual integration project including language classes, orientation to legal and welfare systems and to labor. Each person is required a full time (40 h) occupation during this time, which – based on our experience - can be difficult for persons suffering from trauma linked to war and/or torture. Health problems, often linked to psychological aspects and trauma, are generally hindering the introduction of refugees to Swedish society and labor market, having a negative impact on the integration.
This presentation, with no scientific paper being published, will focus on the efforts being made to revise the introduction of trauma affected refugees through specific projects on this issue. One track in the Swedish setting is the inclusion of healthcare in the introductory program, which the Swedish Red Cross (SRC) is part of. The municipality of Malmö is one such example where the Red Cross Treatment Center for Persons Affected by War and Torture is closely involved in the project of integration, mainly by the means of PTSD treatment. For the SRC to work in this integration project, a lot of networking with local, national and international authorities and actors is required. Networking includes the promotion of knowledge on trauma/torture onto these other organizations, in terms of research and the development of treatment methods for trauma affected persons. It also involves procurement and financial procedures in order to ensure funding for treatment, joint advocacy (nationally), referrals of patients, and quite simply learning from others. Simultaneously it grants us the possibility to reach out to more persons in need of treatment, and to optimize their setting according to their specific (dis)abilities.
Drawing on clinical experience and the current discussion in Swedish society and media sources, this presentation will focus on the prevalence of trauma among the refugees arriving in Sweden at present, and thoughts on how to facilitate the integration through clinical knowledge and indeed by networking. This often includes emphasizing the unique mandate of the Red Cross Movement, where the humanitarian principles we are governed by may be an added value for treatment, in terms of support and trust from beneficiaries and patients. During this presentation, the work carried out by us could be presented, and discussion on networking with other IRCT members could be encouraged.
Funding & No Conflicts Declaration