Lack of Arabic-speaking health providers and interpreters inhibits access ; inability to communicate complicates treatment and assessment.
Culture is a major determinant of how individuals evaluate and and react to distress . Ex. many refugees use religion, prayer, family, and social relationships as coping strategies.
Mental health is considered a taboo topic; this affects whether refugees accept mental health diagnoses and the subsequent treatment [1,3].
Shortage of mental health specialists for refugees: in Germany, only 5% of refugees in need of mental health services received treatment in 2015 .
After decades of widespread corruption and oppression in Syria, many refugees do not easily trust formal services and establishments and therefore do not seek out mental health resources when they need it .
In many cases, Syrian refugees have been isolated from family, friends, support groups, and communities that they normally turn to in order to cope with traumatic experiences. Mental health support therefore needs to go beyond clinical treatment and enhance community support networks .
A community-based approach that touches on multiple access points in schools, community, centers, and health clinics, offers stronger support for refugee children than individual-centered approaches in typical therapy methods . Given that the mental health of caregivers has been shown to influence the mental health of children , family-level considerations are also important.
Founded by Syrian refugee Mohammad Abo-Hilal, a psychiatrist, Syria Bright Future (SBF) address the mental health, social, and educational needs of refugee children in Jordan. The organization consists of a team of mental health professionals and trained community volunteers that teaches kids how to cope with PTSD, offers creative educational activities, and provides counseling and support to caregivers. The teams also visit individual families for interviews with each member to thoroughly assess their specific mental, physical, social, and educational needs [7, 8]. Syrian cultural norms are also taken into account with the inclusion of traditional spiritual healers .
Thus, SBF improves access to trusted, mental health care services that are individualized, multifaceted, culturally-sensitive, and rooted within the immediate refugee community  as well as serves as a model for other countries or organizations to integrate many areas of health services for children and families.
With interventions oriented around family and community, policies and healthcare practitioners in host countries should aim to instill a greater sense of stability, belonging, and hope in displaced Syrian refugee children.
By uniting communities and healing Syria’s next generation, we can offer refugee children and their families a path out of the relentless horror and violence of the Syrian conflict and into a brighter future.