If you would like to add a research paper that will benefit Tasmanian Transcultural Mental Health Network members, please feel free to contact us.

Where possible, links have been provided however please note some papers may require journal access via subscription.

Research / Report TitleDescriptionURL
Talking with Young Refugees about Experiences of Services (Project TYRES)Project TYRES. Talking with Young Refugees about Experiences of Services (Project TYRES)Project TYRES. Read Report
BRIGHT FUTURES: Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgroundsBRIGHT FUTURES: Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgroundsRead Report
Multicultural Youth Australia Cencsus Report 2017/18Multicultural Youth Australia Census Report 2017/18Read Report
Children and Young People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds Speak OutChildren and Young People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds Speak OutRead Report
Looking the other way – Young people and self-harmLooking the other way – Young people and self-harmRead Report
“Nothing for them”: Understanding the support needs of LGBT young people from refugee and newly arrived backgrounds“Nothing for them”: Understanding the support needs of LGBT young people from refugee and newly arrived backgroundsRead Report
How Young Refugees Cope with Conflict in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Urban SchoolsFindings suggested practitioners must consider how multiple factors such trauma, social environment, and everyday stressors influence how young people cope with conflict. Universal interventions with a problem‐solving and coping framework are likely to be beneficial to those students exposed to trauma and whole school communities.Read Report
In or out? Barriers and facilitators to refugee-background young people accessing mental health servicesRefugee young people have been identified as a group with high risk for mental health problems, due to their experience of trauma, forced migration, and stressors associated with settlement. A high prevalence of mental health problems is reported in this group, however some research suggests refugee young people have low rates of mental health service access. There is little information available on barriers and facilitators to mental service delivery for this group. Using data from 15 focus groups and five key informant interviews with a total of 115 service providers from 12 agencies in Melbourne, Australia, this paper explores barriers and facilitators to engaging young people from refugee backgrounds with mental health services. Eight key themes emerged: cultural concepts of mental health, illness, and treatment; service accessibility; trust; working with interpreters; engaging family and community; the style and approach of mental health providers; advocacy; and continuity of care.Read Report
The utilisation of mental health services by children and young people from a refugee background: a systematic literature reviewPeople from refugee background are known to be vulnerable to the development of mental health problems and to suicide because of the pre-migration events they have experienced and the difficulties associated with moving from their homeland to a usually different society. Concerns have been expressed that, in spite of this, young refugees’ rates of contact with mental-health services are substantially lower than expected. This systematic literature review aimed to summarize what is known about the use of mental-health services by children and young people of refugee background and to identify factors that may constitute impediments to service use as well as factors that may facilitate access to and engagement with services. This article presents the main findings in relation to mental-health services utilization by children and young people of refugee background. An overview of literature on the general (i.e. adults or not-youth specific) refugee population has also been included to provide, where possible, a comparison between the former and the latter. A key finding of this review is that while countries of resettlement have introduced several policies and programs for refugee children and young people, these are based on very little evidence, thus more research is urged.Read Report
Health of adolescent refugees resettling in high-income countriesAdolescent refugees are a vulnerable population with complex healthcare needs that are distinct from younger and older age groups. Physical health problems are common in this cohort with communicable diseases being the focus of attention followed by an emphasis on nutritional deficiencies and other chronic disorders. Adolescent refugees have also often experienced multiple traumatic stressors and are at a heightened risk of developing mental health problems. Navigating these problems at the time of pubertal development adds further challenges and can exacerbate or lead to the emergence of health risk behaviours. Educational difficulties and acculturation issues further compound these issues. Adolescents who have had experiences in detention or are unaccompanied by parents are particularly at risk. Despite a constantly growing number of adolescent refugees resettling in high-income countries, knowledge regarding their specific healthcare needs is limited. Research data are largely extrapolated from studies conducted within paediatric and adult cohorts. Holistic management of the medical and psychological issues faced by this group is challenging and requires an awareness of the socioeconomic factors that can have an impact on effective healthcare delivery. Legal and ethical issues can further complicate their management and addressing these in a culturally appropriate manner is essential. Early identification and management of the healthcare issues faced by adolescent refugees resettling in high-income countries are key to improving long-term health outcomes and future healthcare burden. This review article aims to increase knowledge and awareness of these issues among paediatricians and other health professionals.Read Report
Development and Piloting the MMMM Ecological Interactive Open Systems Model: A Prospective One-Year Treatment Outcome of Children of Tortured RefugeesChildren of refugee torture survivors present a compelling case of cumulative and continuous chronic past and current traumas and complex post-cumulative trauma symptoms. Traditional models of interventions with victims of single past traumas may not be effective with such victims. The goal is to develop and initially test a new open multi-systemic, multi-component and multi-modal intervention model (MMMM) as applied in the context of Summer Day Treatment and After School (SDTAS) program, and to determine its potential effectiveness as well as the feasibility of a larger study with more rigorous experimental design. A total of 27 secondary torture survivor Iraqi refugee children (13 males and 14 females, age between 11-16), living in the US, who suffered from serious symptoms and were non-responsive to treatment as usual for at least the previous six months, completed the planned interventions and three times follow-up assessments of five domains: PTSD, complex PTSD, anxiety, depression, and global level of functioning (GAF). Repeated measure analysis of variance was used to analyze changes over the three time points. Results indicated significant decrease in symptoms, and increased GAF with high effect sized (Partial Eta Squared ranged between 0.85 – 0.93). The amount of change displayed by the treated individuals was large enough to be clinically meaningful. Current study provides evidence of potential effectiveness of this novel intervention and of the feasibility of more rigorous and larger future controlled clinical trials to help develop evidence-based treatments for the multiply traumatized children who suffer past and present ongoing adversities. We suggest that the model is cost effective, and can be conducted with children of torture survivors and refugees in different settings world-wide by professionals or by trained supervised para-professionals.Read Report
Sub-Saharan African migrant youths’ help-seeking barriers and facilitators for mental health and substance use problems: a qualitative studyPrograms that identify and build on help-seeking facilitators while addressing help-seeking barriers are needed to address mental health issues among young sub-Saharan African migrants. Strategies to address help-seeking barriers should consider counteracting stigma and increasing mental health literacy in sub-Saharan African communities, increasing health providers’ cultural competency and perceived trustworthiness, and addressing financial barriers to accessing services.Read Report
Evaluation of a school-based creative arts therapy program for adolescents from refugee backgroundsCreative arts therapy programs have been identified as effective interventions with adolescents affected by adversity. The current study provided a controlled trial of creative arts therapy to address the psychosocial needs of students from refugee backgrounds. Forty-two students participated in a therapy trial, comprising an intervention and control group. Mental health and behavioural difficulties were assessed pre and post intervention. Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were used to assess wellbeing. Findings suggested an effect for a reduction in behavioural difficulties for the treatment group. A significant reduction in emotional symptoms was found for the treatment group. Findings provide empirical support for school-based creative arts therapy interventions specific to refugee young people.Read Report
Children enacting idioms of witchcraft and spirit possession as a response to trauma: Therapeutically beneficial, and for whom?This article examines children’s enactment of spirit possession idioms and witchcraft in Africa including the meanings such idioms provide and the local healing resources they mobilize. Idioms of haunting spirits in Northern Uganda and witch-children elsewhere in Africa can be interpreted as manifestations of social crises and mass traumatic stress. On the other hand, such idioms also allow children to articulate, reflect upon, and communicate the complex feelings resulting from their precarious positions within families and communities under duress. With the help of Dow’s transactional model of symbolic healing, this article explores obstacles to the effectivity of the rich variety of symbolic healing available for haunting spirits in Uganda and points to the generational gap between children and their families and communities. Elsewhere, witchcraft idioms may act as a healing resource at the group level, but at the expense of the accused child. The idioms of evil spirits and witchcraft speak of these children’s navigation of the moral universe of their postconflict communities. Given that children’s appraisal of their experiences through these notions may also exacerbate their anxiety, interdisciplinary research examining the microprocesses that lead to children being haunted or accused, including emotional and physiological levels effects, is urgently needed.Read Report
The Educational and Mental Health Needs of Syrian Refugee ChildrenThe Educational and Mental Health Needs of Syrian Refugee ChildrenRead Report
An art therapy intervention for symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety among Syrian refugee childrenThis study first examined the prevalence of psychological symptoms among Syrian refugee children (N = 64) and assessed the effect of an art therapy intervention on post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms. The Stressful Life Events (SLE) Questionnaire was used to measure stressful and traumatic experiences. The main outcome measures were UCLA Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Parent version, Child Depression Inventory and State-Trait Anxiety Scale. After the baseline assessment, a five-day art therapy intervention, which is based on Skills for Psychological Recovery, was implemented. Findings of the study indicated that 60.3% (N = 35) of Syrian children who participated had high risk to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the SLE scale. The 23.4% of the children had PTSD symptoms while the 17.6% showed severe depression symptoms. Moreover, the 14.4% of the children showed severe levels of state anxiety symptoms and the 31.1% showed severe levels of trait anxiety symptoms. Findings of the study indicated that trauma, depression and trait anxiety symptoms of children were significantly reduced at the post-assessment. However, for state anxiety scores, significant differences between pre- and post-assessments did not appear. Therefore, it could be said that art therapy may be an effective method to reduce post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and trait anxiety symptoms among refugee children.Read Report
Screening and Primary Care Access for Newly Arrived Paediatric Refugees in Regional Australia: A 5 year Cross-sectional Analysis (2007–12)This study aimed to determine the prevalence of health conditions in newly arrived refugee children and access to timely heath screening. Methods: Cross-sectional data from screening of refugee children in regional Australia (2007–12) were analysed for health conditions and timeliness of primary care access. Results: The health of 376 newly arrived refugee children (0–15 years) was assessed. Refugee children came from African (45%), Southeast Asian (29%) and Eastern Mediterranean (10%) regions. Access to primary care screening was present in 367 children (97% of arrivals). Completion of all recommended screening tests was 72%. Of 188 children with arrival and screening dates recorded, 88% were screened within 1 month and 96% within 6 months of arrival. Timely access of remaining children could not be assessed. Conclusion: Primary care was highly accessible to almost all newly arrived refugee children. Health screening was timely in those children with complete medical records.Read Report
SPEAKING UP – The Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Australia ReportSPEAKING UP – The Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Australia ReportRead Report