School and community-based interventions for refugee and asylum seeking children
The findings suggest that school-based interventions could be helpful for children to overcome mental health struggles associated with forced migration. However, due to the significant heterogeneity between the included studies, a meta-analysis could not be conducted.
As many newcomer children face mental health concerns upon resettlement, school and community-based staff often aim to identify at-risk children and provide necessary services. The authors aim to systematically review mental health interventions that have been evaluated in both school and community-based settings for refugee and asylum seeking children. Twenty-one studies were included in the review, totaling data from 1,800 child participants. Most the studies were conducted in a school setting (n=11), in comparison to community-based (n=3) or refugee camp settings (n=7). Studied primary outcomes include impacts on depression, anxiety, PTSD, functional impairment, and traumatic grief. The findings suggest that school-based interventions could be helpful for children with mental health concerns associated with forced migrations. However, due to the significant heterogeneity between the studied interventions and target populations, a meta-analysis could not be conducted. The authors caution that the conclusions of this review cannot be generalized to all interventions.