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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-9

Mental health of Afghan refugees in Pakistan: a qualitative rapid reconnaissance field study

1 psychiatrist, is attached to McGill University, Montreal, Canada, The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, The Northeast Mental Health Centre and The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan., Pakistan
2 Focus Humanitarian Assistance International

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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For the past 25 years, Afghans have accounted for the greatest number of displaced persons in the world. A large proportion of this population has sought refuge in neighbouring Pakistan. Many Afghan refugees have experienced unimaginable suffering due to war and its consequences. Mental health is an essential aspect of the care of refugees, yet the mental health and well-being of Afghan refugees has not been well studied. This qualitative field survey endeavours to gain some understanding of collective factors influencing mental health in a refugee camp in Karachi, Pakistan. We present ways of expressing distress, various sources of stress, and some of the coping mechanisms utilised by the refugees in this camp. On basis of these results, some recommendations are given.

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