A new report by Centre for Mental Health has raised concerns over the level of mental health support available to immigrants being detained in immigration removal centres (IRCs) across Britain.
The report highlights that many of these people have already experienced significant upset and trauma before their detention, and that time spent in these centres only adds to their distress.
According to the report, the help that is available to detainees varies between the different IRCs. In some centres, support such as psychological therapy is available, but in many cases detainees do not feel they are being listened to when they express the need for assistance.
To help resolve the issues, the report recommends that staff in the centres are all trained on mental health and trauma, and that measures are in place to support the mental health of both detainees and staff.
“People held in Immigration Removal Centres face serious challenges to their mental health,” explained report author Dr Graham Durcan. “Many have been through traumatic events and all face an uncertain future. While not all will have a diagnosable mental illness, most will need some help for their mental health and benefit from interventions to support their wellbeing. At present, such help is patchy and often limited to specialist medical care.”
"Our report concludes that IRCs need to be psychologically informed throughout,” he added. “All staff should be trained in mental health awareness, proven psychological interventions should be offered when people seek help and crisis care should be available 24/7."
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