Tackling Trauma with Tradition

In Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps, religious teachers and spirit healers are helping to fill the massive gap in mental health services.

900,000 Rohingya now live in these camps, arriving with traumatic tales of Burmese soldiers slaughtering thousands. But only half of those in need have access to mental health services.

With relatively little research on the Rohingya, understanding their culture is a new frontier for aid agencies, who say they have much to learn from the Rohingyas’ approach to trauma. The UN refugee agency is building a support network incorporating the invaluable traditional healers, referring the most severe cases to formal services.

IRIN

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