Mental health of asylum seekers and refugees: the present challenges and future opportunities

Date: Tuesday 18 June
Time: 11.00am - 12.15pm
Stream: Clinical Practice


This masterclass will provide balanced and diverse views on the important topic of mental health of forced migrants in an increasingly turbulent world with major disasters and wars that forced millions of people every year to flee their homes to seek sanctuary elsewhere.
This masterclass is timely to help psychiatrists from all over the world to know more about the up-to-date knowledge and practice regarding the mental health of people seeking asylum, what can be done to improve our standing of the challenges people seeking asylum face, and how we could improve their access to mental health support and help them overcome their trauma.

This topic is important, especially with the tragic events we see now with new wars and conflicts worldwide, creating a large-scale human disaster that will have a massive impact on this generation and many generations to come.


This session aims to:

  • Provide up-to-date information on the latest research on asylum seekers' and refugees' mental health. In particular, we will provide information on the prevalence of mental disorders and advances in treatment. It will also discuss important topics, such as co-production. The first part of this section will be presented by Dr Piyal Sen (focus on the general adult population) and Dr Veronica Dobler (focus on children and unaccompanied minors).
  • The second part of this session will be presented by Dr Lucia Chaplin and Dr Grace Crowley to discuss their involvement with the RCPsych Working Group on Mental Health and Forced Migration. Over the past year, they have led in writing a College Report on recent UK immigration legislation, the Illegal Migration Act 2023 and the Nationality and Borders Act 2022. They will give an overview of this legislation, discuss the process of writing a College Report related to this issue, and offer an overview of the report's conclusions, focusing on the likely mental health impacts, both to individuals and to NHS Mental Health Services


Chair: Dr Rukyya Hassan, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, Freedom from Torture, Lancashire

Dr Piyal Sen, Medical Director and Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Elysium Healthcare, Honorary Professor Brunel University, Milton Keynes

Dr Veronika Dobler, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge

Dr Lucia Chaplin, Higher Specialty Trainee, General Adult Psychiatry, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge and Dr Grace Crowley, Core Psychiatry Trainee, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London

Dr Yasir Hameed, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich

Please email or call 020 8618 4120 with any enquiries.