AMERA International has launched a new training programme in conjunction with St. Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) to develop training curriculum and resources for legal advisors and mental health practitioners. 

The aim is to strengthen the use of mental health assessments and reports to facilitate quality legal representation and fair refugee status determination (RSD) and other legal processes for refugees with mental health needs. 

The first training session under the new initiative was delivered in mid-April to a group of nine psychologists and psychiatrists. Titled, ‘Mental Health Reports in Legal Processes’, the session was wide-ranging. It covered background information on legal proceedings; discussed approaches to coordination with legal representatives and outlined reporting frameworks and standards. 

The training also created space for discussion on assessments and diagnostic tools and examined the formulation of clinical implications and practitioner recommendations. 

Course leaders were AMERA International director Sabine Larribeau; and Simone Green and Alex Farmer, from the mental health and legal aid programmes at StARS.

Sabine said: “Coordinating mental health expertise with legal representation is essential for properly supporting the legal processes of displaced people who have faced trauma and have mental health needs.”

 

Course leaders were AMERA International director Sabine Larribeau, and Simone Green and Alex Farmer, from the mental health and legal aid programs at StARS.

Sabine said: “Coordinating mental health expertise with legal representation is essential for properly supporting the legal processes of displaced people who have faced trauma and have mental health needs.”

“It was a pleasure to train psychologists and psychiatrists on preparing mental health reports in refugee status determination and resettlement proceedings. This was a great opportunity to strengthen how the different professions work together for the good of refugees.”

All participants said they felt much better equipped to prepare mental health reports after the training.

For more information about the initiative, email: info@amerainternational.org and visit www.amerainternational.org