Thursday, December 2, 2021

The mental health of Afghans in British hotels is suffering

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F.The former Afghan special unit Makez Mirza is a shadow of itself.

She bangs her head against the wall, cries inexorably and has loss of appetite. She shares a room with her sisters at the Radisson Blu in West London, which has been at home for over a month.

Orphaned at a young age, she confessed to an Afghan charity and health worker who visited her at the hotel that she wanted to end her life. Since the Taliban swept over Kabul at the end of August, she has feared her work in the army and endangered the life of her younger brother.

“Mirza was withdrawn and spoke little,” Karim Shirin, director of the Afghan Association in London, remembered his meeting with her.

Mr. Shirin tells The independent one Depression, anxiety, and poor mental health are common among most newcomers. More than 8,000 Afghan nationals became Evacuated to Great Britain August under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

“The people fled their country in a terrible way,” says Shirin.

“You are upset about the situation. Most of them who arrived were working with the military which collapsed. They have lost their jobs, their livelihoods – everything they have built in the last twenty years, everything that haunts them. “

Mr Shirin says Ms Mirza has been referred to the West London GP Federation for advice, which has not yet started.

But dr. Waheed Arian, an NHS ambulance doctor, said the trauma from which most Afghan refugees are fleeing is deeply complex. Advice alone is not enough, he emphasized.

Scenes of airport rush and families caught in the crossfire after the Taliban overturned the Afghan government brought back memories of the horrors he experienced when he was 15 years old, says Dr. Arian The independent one.

“I would look at a red bus, but I would see a tank,” he says. Dr. It took Arian nearly ten years to diagnose and treat his condition appropriately. This was only made possible by his psychiatric report as part of his professional training.

The underlying problems are complex; they are fleeing persecution, bombs, hunger, malnutrition, refugee camps – all a constant threat to their survival, explains Dr. Arian. This leaves them in a constant flight or fight reaction, he adds.

Forty-one years of war have scarred millions of Afghans. A 2018 European Union survey found that 85 percent of the population had or had experienced at least one traumatic event, an average of four.

As part of Britain’s Operation Warm Welcome, the Department of Health and Welfare has pledged £ 3 million to help newcomers get the medical care they need. Funding will cover mental health, infectious disease screening, maternity care and access to prescriptions.

But young Afghans, including special forces, The independent one spoke, said they had not had any psychological support until now. Mr Shirin says some of the refugees are still waiting for their NHS numbers, some have received them.

Regardless of the millions flowing into the system, according to Dr. Arian requires a thorough assessment by a clinical psychologist in a multidisciplinary setting through a biopsychosocial lens that looks at disease and illness from a broader perspective.

This means that they physically determine whether they have an illness and whether they feel mentally and psychologically safe. When you are unsure of how severe your flashbacks and nightmares are. Accordingly, Dr. Arian that the right treatment should be given.

Undiagnosed and untreated, says Dr. Arian, poor mental health will inhibit their social integration, interfere with language learning, and prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Of the NHS-run mental health system, Dr. Arian, it’s broken. The challenges are diverse and intertwined; Scarcity of money, inadequate planning, poor resource allocation, to name a few.

“Mental health is not high on the list of priorities and is not receiving the same level of medical care as other conditions require,” he says.

At the London A&E, Dr. Arian has been suicide cases of newly arrived Afghans as well as uprooted British Afghans in the UK for years. Data from NHS Digital shows that in 114,000 NHS emergency room visits in the year through March, “feeling depressed” was a patient’s main complaint – an average of 312 per day.

Accurate data on the extent of the mental health crisis affecting the Afghan community, including suicide numbers, are difficult to come by.

However, the pandemic not only highlighted the need for better mental health services, but exposed them as an acutely underserved area with a shortage of highly qualified staff.

To fill this gap, he founded Arian Wellbeing two years ago and is determined to use holistic and scientific methods to improve people’s mental wellbeing. If successful, Dr. Arian to replicate the model across the NHS.

“It is not common for Afghan men to cry in front of people”

After fleeing war and persecution, refugees face another battle to reunite with loved ones.

During the evacuation last month, Afghan special forces soldier Usman Khan arrived at Heathrow with his six-month-old son. His wife and five-year-old daughter were brought to Germany. His parents are in Southampton. His requests to the Ministry of the Interior have so far remained unanswered.

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