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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 169-179

Psychosocial support for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal

1 MA Cultural Anthropology, MA Transnational Communication & Global Media, MA Humanitarian Action, Project Coordinator War Trauma Foundation, the Netherlands, (former) psychosocial advisor to Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO) Nepal
2 MA (English), currently Social Protection Specialist in UNDP/Government of Nepal Ministry of Local Development under Human Development and Social Protection Pilot project, Nepal., Nepal
3 MA population studies, Executive Manager, TPO Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal. Renee Gerritzen, certified mental health psychologist
4 certified mental health psychologist
5 Health Net TPO Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan., Afghanistan
6 Research Coordinator, TPO Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal., Nepal
7 MA, MPhil (Clinical Psychology), MA, MPhil (English), Project Coordinator, TPO Nepal, Field Office, Damak, Nepal., Nepal
8 Head of Research, Health Net TPO & Honorary Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK., UK

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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For more than 20 years, thousands of Bhutanese refugees have been living in refugee camps in eastern Nepal, in an uncertain and challenging situation. Now, the possibility of resettlement is bringing even more challenges into their lives. In recognition of this situation, the nongovernmental organisation Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation Nepal provides psychosocial support to this group, in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees and other humanitarian agencies. This field report provides an overview of the psychosocial issues, interventions and implications, as well as lessons learned. It also includes the case study of a refugee. Direct psychosocial support, psycho-education and capacity development are major elements of the programme provided, not only to refugees, but also to the host community and aid workers as well. Recommendations include: continuing and strengthening services for both refugee and host communities, increasing attention to vulnerable groups (such as the elderly), and enhancing links and cooperation with local and international services and structures.

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