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Migrant and refugees

To read the Introducton to Culture Click Here

This covers many ethnic and cultural groups.

Many of those in this group, especially refugees, have gone through very traumatic times.

This can have very significant effects on the mental health of an individual and a family.

As well, there are huge adjustment demands; a new language, new customs, new climate and often minimal support.

If you add a new baby to all this, then the demands can become overwhelming for couples.

Having an interpreter can be essential to help communicate with medical professionals but it is not always desired by the ‘patient’ and her family. They may feel issues of confidentiality are likely to be breached because these are often small communities where everyone knows everyone else.

Sometimes a partner will interpret and this may “hide” what is actually happening to a woman. He may be reluctant to acknowledge the true extent of the problem.

This can be very frustrating for the health professionals who may feel that there is a problem but who are unable to get to the bottom of it.

It is important to continue to offer support to the family and keep asking in different ways - hopefully with time - the problems will come out.

See Ruth de Sousa’s website www.wairua.com for more detailed information.

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