Addressing trauma in collaborative mental health care for refugee children

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;18(1):121-36. doi: 10.1177/1359104512444117. Epub 2012 May 24.


Primary care institutions, including clinics, schools and community organizations, because of their closeness to the family living environment, are often in a privileged position to detect problems in traumatized refugee children and to provide help. In a collaborative care model, the child psychiatrist consultant can assist the primary care consultee and family in holding the trauma narrative and organizing a safe network around the child and family. The consultant can support the establishment of a therapeutic alliance, provide a cultural understanding of presenting problems and negotiate with the consultee and the family a treatment plan. In many settings, trauma focused psychotherapy may not be widely available, but committed community workers and primary care professionals may provide excellent psychosocial support and a forum for empathic listening that may provide relief to the family and the child.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Psychiatry*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Refugees / psychology*