JRS MALTA -
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
•Information given to 1700 new arrivals (mostly in detention).
•Provided further services to 1200+ persons in detention and
from our office.
•In-depth legal casework: 146 cases
•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.
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
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:
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.”
Ms Katrine Camilleri,
50, Tri ix-Xorrox
B'Kara BKR 1631
tel: +356-21-44 27 51
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