Syrian refugees will need lots of mental health treatment in America
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 10, 2016
…..and you, the US taxpayer, will be paying for it! (or else!)
An estimated 1000-2000 of the coming 10,000 Syrians could need (costly!) mental health treatment!
Here is the AP story at ABC News (emphasis is mine):
For the thousands of Syrian refugees expected to arrive in the U.S. in coming months, the first order of business will be securing the basics — health care, jobs, education and a safe home.
But what organizations helping resettle them might not be prepared for, and what refugees themselves might be in denial about, is the need to treat the mental scars of war, experts said.
Organizations that work with refugees said it’s too early to assess the full scope of arrivals’ mental health needs. But experts say it’s important to keep tabs on the emotional state of new arrivals, since symptoms may not appear until months or years later — well after most resettlement support services have ended. [It is all on the community then which must come up with the $$$ for all of this care!—ed]
The U.S. has taken about 2,500 Syrian refugees since the conflict there began in 2011, including about 100 in Massachusetts. The Obama administration expects to take in at least 10,000 in the federal fiscal year that began in October. Experts estimate 10 to 20 percent of incoming Syrians will have war-related psychological problems warranting treatment.
“They’re in the honeymoon phase,” said Richard Mollica, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School who has spent decades working with torture and genocide victims. “In the first year, they’re so happy to be out of that situation. They feel something wonderful is going to happen in America.
And “wonderful” doesn’t come and that is where I believe the mental health crisis begins!
The streets are not paved with gold, they have to work (find work!) and the mythical city of El Dorado is just that, a myth. Many will want to go home.
“It’s only about two years later or so when there’s a mental health crisis,” he said. “It’s at that point that reality hits and they really need a lot of mental health care.”
And get this! If you don’t take care of their mental health they could turn into Islamic terrorists!
Failure to address them could lead some refugees to withdraw from society, increasing the chances they’ll be drawn to extremist groups, Arnetz [Michigan professor] warned.
Some good news! Syrians are only trickling into the US and at the present rate, Obama won’t get to that magic 10,000 by September 30th (the end of the 2016 fiscal year). See numbers (so far) here. I’m guessing the security screening is going very slowly.
For ambitious readers we have 289 previous posts in our ‘health issues’ category (refugees have a lot of health issues!).
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