JRS MALTA - www.jrsmalta.org
 

ADDRESSING THE PSYCHO-SOCIAL NEEDS OF ASYLUM SEEKERS
 

Reception conditions for asylum seekers remained a major concern, as did the lack of any real possibilities for integration for those granted some form of protection. In this context, it is particularly hard for migrants with physical or mental health problems to obtain the care and support they need.
 

In detention, where most asylum seekers spend their first months in Malta, the support and care provided is extremely basic, as detention centres are staffed almost exclusively by security personnel. Migrants living in independent accommodation often find themselves completely bereft of all support, as they find it hard to access mainstream health and social services, although in principle most would be entitled to it.
 

In order to address this need, JRS Malta implemented a project providing psycho-social support to vulnerable asylum seekers and to improve their access to mainstream services. Through this project, JRS staff provided services to 230 individuals. The project also offered training to 156 professionals working with asylum seekers. Everyone’s feedback was overwhelmingly positive and participants expressed a need for further training.

 

JRS MALTA ACTIVITIES IN 2012
 

Outreach
•Information given to 1700 new arrivals (mostly in detention).
•Provided further services to 1200+ persons in detention and from our office.

Legal services
•In-depth legal casework: 146 cases

Advocacy
•Publication of Kidane – a story of hope, a book for primary school children telling the story of a refugee, and an accompanying teachers’ resource pack.

 

 

REFUGEE TESTIMONY
 

Michael, an Eritrean man, arrived in Malta five years ago. After spending a year in detention he was granted subsidiary protection. Soon after his release he found a job, rented an apartment and worked hard to send money to his wife and children. He could not bring them to Malta as people with subsidiary protection are not entitled to family reunification.
 

Over time, the separation from his family became harder to bear. He hoped for resettlement to the United States, where he
would finally be reunited with his wife and children.
 

When his application for resettlement was rejected all of his hopes were shattered and his world fell apart. Unable to bear the thought that he would never be able to be with his family, he decided to end his life. Although he survived, the injuries he suffered brought him close to death and left him with long-term medical problems.
 

JRS staff visited Michael throughout the time he spent in hospital and supported him as he slowly rebuilt his life. In his own words:

 

“…The psychologist’s sessions helped me to put things in perspective; they got me thinking about why I ended up taking such drastic measures. They also helped me to handle situations that I face without resorting to such drastic measures. I do not have words to explain how grateful I am to JRS…I know that I would not be where I am today without your support.”

 


Contact Details

 

Ms Katrine Camilleri, Country Director

50, Tri ix-Xorrox
B'Kara BKR 1631
Malta

tel: +356-21-44 27 51

fax: +356-21-44 27 52

To send an email, just replace the (a) with @.

 



 
 

Jesuit Refugee Service Europe - Rue du Progrès (Vooruitgangstraat) 333/2 - B-1030 Bruxelles - Belgium
Tel: + 32 2 250 32 20 - Fax: + 32 2 250 32 29 - Email: europe(a)jrs.net