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Mental health issues among refugee children and adolescents


  • Funding: None.

  • Conflict of interest: None.

Julie Robinson, School of Psychology, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.


Each year, several thousand child refugees are resettled in Australia. These children have faced numerous stressors and are at increased risk for developing mental health problems including traumatic stress and a variety of emotional, behavioural, and educational difficulties. The diverse contexts in which refugee children may come into contact with mental health clinicians include school, child and adolescent mental health services, child protection services, and hospitals. This article summarises current knowledge regarding the mental health of refugee children and adolescents, distilling what is of particular relevance to Australian service providers. The stressors encountered by refugee children, psychological outcomes, appropriate interventions, and barriers to accessing services are discussed.