Building Resilience for Refugee Youth in Public School System

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Kong, Tracy
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There are increasing number of refugee youths settling in Canada under the current refugee protection program. Many refugee youths carry traumatic experiences and are still struggling with those memories every day. Studies showed that children and youths who experienced or witnessed such distressed events have a high prevalence of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are many factors that contribute to refugee youth developing PTSD. They include pre and post migration experiences, parent child relationship and the lack of support in school. The focus on just mental health treatments (and not prevention) is not sufficient in of itself and that these treatments often view them as passive victims. This paper examines the existing research on the common mental health struggles of refugee youth, the current resources in public schools, and the use of the Bronfenbrenner's social ecological framework in order to formulate a resilience model that may effectively support this population in schools.
refugee youth , post-traumatic stress disorder , mental disorders , resilience , public schools , Canada , health services