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Research summaries and systematic reviews
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Author: Lynne Jones, OBE FRCPsych
Contributors: Inka Weissbecker, Andria Spyridou, Audrey Bollier and Mackenzie Kacmarcik. 

This ethnographic assessment explores the psychosocial needs of children who are Syrian refugees and living in Vasilika Camp, Greece. The research was conducted between the 2nd and 5th of August 2016 at Vasilika Camp in Northern Greece, which is one of the camps established by the Greek Government to house the Syrian refugee population trapped in the country after Macedonia closed its border in March 2016. The findings of this report reflect the conditions of Vasilika Camp in August 2016; however, the camp conditions have evolved since and continue to change over time.

The aim of this report was to have a better understanding of children’s psychosocial concerns and needs and how these might be addressed. In order to explore this, four gender segregated focus groups were conducted with 23 children aged between 8 and 14. In addition, four key informant interviews were conducted with two boys and two girls. Two focus groups were also conducted with parents, four fathers and six mothers, to gain their perspective on the same issues. 

Key findings presented include children’s pre-camp experiences, psychological health, physical health, and problems with camp life.

A set of recommendations is provided, based on the feedback shared by children and their parents.

Human rights
Child behavioural and developmental disorders
Children and adolescents
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  • This resource is also available for download in Step 1 'Assess & Plan for Mental Health Integration' of International Medical Corps’ “Mental Health Integration Toolkit”. The Toolkit aims to increase the understanding of integrated mental health programs in humanitarian settings, and provides valuable guidance for better resource allocation and implementation of the steps and components of Mental Health Integration.

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