Psychological Support
The experience of migration can be complex and stressful, related to events before departure, during travel and transit, and after arrival. Consequently, refugees and migrants can suffer from severe mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive and anxiety disorders.
Long lines to access social services in Raval, a migrant neighbourhood in Barcelona

Lack of adequate support

While much research confirms the high necessity of advanced and specific intervention methods aimed at refugees and migrants, focussed on psychological support and stress relief, these communities often do not have access to the services that can provide this to them. This is the case before departure and during travel, but unfortunately also at many destination countries in the European Union. There are variety of reasons for this, which can include language barriers, lack of information about the health care system in the host country, limited entitlements to receipt of free care, different explanatory models of mental distress, and different attitudes to medical and psychological treatments compared with those of the majority population in the host country.
“A comprehensive review identified a prevalence of depression ranging from 5% to 44% in refugee and migrant groups in different studies, compared with a prevalence of 8–12% in the general population (26). For anxiety disorders, prevalence ranged from 4% to 40% compared with reported prevalence of 5% in the general population. Fewer studies assessed prevalence of psychotic disorders (26), but where these values were available they were two to three times higher in refugees and migrants than in host populations.”
WHO, 2018

So what do we do?

  • The sessions will support people to cope with difficulties one faces in their lives or difficulties they might have faced in the past but that still affect them now. Topics can range to their situation in Spain, their future, their position in the Covid-19 crisis, or any other doubts/issues/challenges they might face at the moment.
  • Sessions are done at first weekly or bi-weekly, as agreed between User and Therapist according to each specific demand. Recurrence can be reviewed during the process.
  • Sessions will last between 50 minutes and one hour, varying according to each case and demand.
  • Sessions are done at Therapists' private office, spaces provided by OCC's partners, at OCC's office or online; to be discussed between Therapists and Users what will be more suitable.
  • Participating is done voluntarily by OCC's users.

Goals of the support

  • Mental health promotion;
  • reducing symptoms of possible psychological trauma;
  • enhancing qualities of psychological and social well being;
  • promoting social adaptability and integration.

Volunteer requirements

  • Degree in Psychology
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in Clinical Psychology (including internships)
  • English or Spanish fluent
  • Minimum 2 hours availability weekly
  • Attend Mental Health Team meetings
  • Commit to at least 10 sessions with a User
  • Experience with Refugees/Immigrants or coming from personal similar background (preferred, not required)

How to sign-up?

Contact Vincent by email at [email protected] with some information about your background and motivation to help.