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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 233-241

Programming to Address Suicidal Behaviour among Unaccompanied Refugee Minors in a Camp Setting: A Field Report from Ethiopia

1 Psychotherapist-Trainer, The Center for Victims of Torture, Mai Tsebri, Ethiopia
2 Clinical Programs Director, The Center for Victims of Torture, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3 Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, The Center for Victims of Torture, Shire, Ethiopia
4 Clinical Advisor, The Center for Victims of Torture, St. Paul, MN, USA

Correspondence Address:
MA Liyam Eloul
Clinical Advisor, 2356 University Avenue West, Suite 430, St. Paul, MN 55114
MA Medhanye Alem
Psychotherapist-Trainer, The Center for Victims of Torture
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_52_20

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In response to a perceived increase in suicidal ideation and behaviour among minors and especially unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in camps for Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, we developed a multilayered response programme. This programme included public awareness and stigma-reduction campaigns, psychoeducation aimed at both UASC and their caregivers, capacity building for humanitarian and community partners, group and individual counselling for UASC and crisis response and postvention. We offer learnings from the development and implementation of this programme, highlighting the importance of working with relevant constructs such as grief, guilt, attachment and identity. It is our hope that our learnings will be informative and helpful to practitioners working with displaced UASC in other contexts. Recognising the heightened risk factors experienced by young people with trauma histories currently in camp settings, we recommend the coordinated development of a suicide prevention and response plan as a core component of any humanitarian response.

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