The Mental Health of Afghan Children Residing in Pakistani Refugee Camps
Child, Kelli; Roby, Jini
There have been several different events in Afghanistan's history that have forced its citizens to find refuge amongst its neighbors, the largest amount settling in Pakistan. As one of the largest groups of refugees currently, there are countless hardships that these individuals face. While struggling to find a place to meet their basic necessities, they meet untold hardships even within themselves--‐ coping with the stress, trauma and inevitable effects of being drenched in war--‐torn surroundings. There are political, economic, familial, cultural and individual contributing factors that inevitably have an effect upon their mental health. As with any population, the children are the hardest hit, and most often neglected. There are serious mental health problems found in the Afghan refugee children, most commonly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A child's mental health is highly dependent on the security of their surroundings and parents' well--‐being, which often-times itself is crumbling or absent. While there are many laudable efforts currently to help the refugees, endeavors to address the mental Health of their children has been few and far between. It is highly recommended to move forward by establishing a secure environment for the child by: recognizing the seriousness and widespread nature of mental illness, reducing the amount of exposure to violence, and moving forward by refortifying, reviving and rallying the family and feeling of community to once again provide the support and treatment that their children need.