MSF offered psychosocial support, including mental health screenings, individual and group counselling and psychoeducation at four asylum centres for adults and six homes for unaccompanied minors in the municipalities of Götene, Lidköping and Mariestad. The team also provided general health information, group recreational activities and social activities to strengthen the asylum seekers’ social network. Patients with symptoms of severe mental health problems or physical illness were referred to primary or specialist care as appropriate.
In total, MSF screened 219 asylum seekers for mental health problems, held 460 follow-up sessions and supported 1,300 people through group sessions. Additionally, around 650 asylum seekers received psychological first aid. Most of the people who benefited from these services were from countries affected by war, such as Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
In early 2018, MSF plans to release a report detailing how incertitude negatively affects the mental health of asylum seekers. A practical manual and toolkit resulting from the intervention in Västra Götaland will be distributed to organisations implementing policies for asylum seekers across Sweden.