Around 1 % of the world’s population, or 1 in 97 people, is forcibly displaced. Refugees and asylum seekers are at a higher risk than the general population for developing mental health conditions because of their adverse life experiences. However, most refugees and asylum seekers with poor mental health do not get effective help. On average only 2% of countries’ health budgets go to mental health. Most refugees do not have access to quality affordable mental health care in their community.
This brief provides details of a new psychological intervention: Self Help Plus (SH+), developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to address this gap. In a recent study called RE-DEFINE (Refugee Emergency: Defining and Implementing Novel Evidence-based psychosocial interventions) with 1,101 refugees and asylum seekers in Turkey and in five countries in Western Europe, SH+ was shown to be effective in reducing psychological distress and preventing the development of mental disorders.