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Recovery from premigration trauma among recent immigrants from Africa : What helped? What did not help? What would help? Mmapatsi, Selebaleng S.

Abstract

The principal aim o f this research study was to examine what immigrants and refugees from Africa experienced as helpful, unhelpful or what would have helped in their recovery from pre-migration trauma. The sample included thirteen self-referred participants residing in the Lower mainland, British Columbia, Canada. Participation in this study was based on the following four criteria. First, the participants were immigrants, refugees and international students from Su-Saharan Africa who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2003. Second, the participants had experienced trauma in Africa, which they volunteered to share. Third, they confirmed not to be undergoing therapy or psychiatric treatment at the time of the interview. Fourth, participants were to be adults between 20 and 50 years of age. The Critical Incident interviews were utilized to screen the participants, collect and analyze data. Incidents were further organized by placing them on a timeline methodology. The timeline categorizes the low and high points of events that happen in a lifetime according to three main periods, namely; beginning, middle and end of the process of recovery from premigration trauma. Three hundred and twenty eight incidents were formed from 13 interviews including, 140 incidents helpful (42.68%) with the participation rate of 70.77%, 119 unhelpful (36.28%) with the participation rate of 64.10% and 69 would be helpful incidents (21.04), participation rate of 53.85%. Most of the incidents reported by the participants were based on refugee experiences. The findings suggest a mental health intervention that recognizes the social support, beliefs and security. Future research should aspects of culture in the appraisal and healing of trauma as well as tenets of programs based on the context of those served not expert opinion. Experiences of health caretaker, support personnel international students who migrated under the auspices of the host Government's sponsorships need to be examined in order to develop a theory that is grounded on the lived experience.

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