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ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 181-186

Mental health of Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers: case studies from Malaysia


1 Director, Health Equity Initiatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Associate Professor, Taylor’s University School of Medicine, Malaysia
2 Director, Health Equity Initiatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Senior Lecturer, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University, Malaysia
3 Program Coordinator, Health Equity Initiatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4 Community Health Worker, Health Equity Initiatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5 Patient Manager, Health Equity Initiatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
6 Consultant, IMS, Health Equity Initiatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Xavier Pereira
Health Equity Initiatives, 26-1A, Jalan Vivekananda, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_33_19

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Rohingya refugees are one of the oldest and largest asylum-seeking populations in Malaysia. Yet, there is a dearth of literature in relation to this population and their mental health. Through case studies, this paper seeks to add to the emerging body of knowledge on the Rohingya. These case studies highlight the unique factors which contribute to mental ill-health among them. It also seeks to identify mental health and psychosocial support strategies that are currently being implemented to address the mental health needs of the Rohingya in Malaysia, the challenges encountered and possible ways forward.
Key implications for practice
  • The importance of psychological and psychosocial interventions beyond pharmacotherapy.
  • The need for an multi-disciplinary approach.
  • The importance of cultural sensitivity and cross cultural communication.
  • The role of advocacy in complementing clinical interventions in developing sustainable solutions to addressing the mental health needs of the Rohingya.


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