A first assessment of the needs of young refugees arriving in Europe: what mental health professionals need to know

Thousands of young refugees are currently entering Europe.They are exposed to many risks pre-flight, during their flight, and upon arrival, which make them vulnerable for the development of mental health problems. Our expertise as mental health professionals is crucial for the promotion of a healthy adaptation of these young people and their families and to lower their risks. In addition, it is important to identify young refugees with developing or preexisting serious mental disorders and to ensure access to evidence-based psychiatric treatment.

The overarching aims of this ECAP editorial written by members of the ESCAP board representing different countries are to (1) exemplarily provide basic information on the dimensions of the crisis under special consideration of minors, illustrating that European countries are differentially affected, (2) provide an initial guide as to the needs of the young refugees during and after their flight, (3) create a professional awareness of the implications of the current situation, (4) underscore the need for structured approaches toward acute and medium-term treatment, and (5) finally encourage us all to professionally deal with the crisis as cooperatively and creatively as we possibly can.

Johannes Hebebrand, Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, Stephan Eliez, Henk Linse, Milica Pejovic‑Milovancevic, & Henrikje Klasen | 2016
In: European child & adolescent psychiatry, ISSN 1018-8827 | 25 | 1-6
Published online: 22 december 2015
Adolescents, Assessment, Children, Editorial, Mental health, Refugees, Unaccompanied Minors