All health professionals may at some time have to treat torture survivors. Nurses, midwives, GPs and other health professionals need to be informed about the effects of torture and how to treat and care for torture survivors.
Health care professionals need training to develop effective and appropriate ways of consulting patients where consultations are affected by a patient’s experiences of torture.
Medical Investigation and Documentation of Torture (.PDF), a handbook financially supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is intended to raise awareness of the use of torture and the wounds, both physical and psychological, that it leaves on its victims. It advises doctors and other health workers on the most appropriate way of examining a person who has been tortured and looks at the uses to which the effective documentation of injuries can be put.
Further information is available on torture, including country reports, from a variety of organisations, including:
It is important to remember that, despite what may have been traumatic experiences, most refugees are not suffering from mental illnesses.
Many refugees will be very resilient and will have many positive coping strategies. The mental health area of this website provides further guidance)
It is important also to consider refugee clients’ needs holistically. As well as issues related to torture, practitioners may need to consider other needs. Further guidance is provided in this website on refugee women, refugee men, refugee children and young people, and refugees with disabilities and special needs. The health promotion area of this website also provides useful guidance on a wide range of health issues.
The South East Migrant Health Network is not responsible for the content of external sites.