Monthly Archives: March 2016

Treat the Pain for Settlement

Canada is in the process of accepting a large number of refugees in particular people from Syria. Welcoming and bringing home refugees from Syria became a happy news in December 2015, when the first group of those individuals and families started to make the airports life more exciting than normal.
You could think that most settlement agencies across Canada, have instructions or plans in order to settle down refugees and help them to integrate into their new communities’ best they can.
However, the great question remaining is that what is the plan for provision of mental health services for this population? What is the plan for treating and providing for mental health issues that most of refugees are dealing with?
Surely the research shows that refugees are the population prone to develop mental health issues due to the level of experienced pre-migration and at times post migration challenges.
As a refugee, you arrive with the deep down level of emotional pain and trauma because simply your life has been turned upside down. It is simply traumatic if you are forced to leave the known environment and knocking on neighbour’s doors for protection. For many people, it is challenging to ask for help and surely there are those who could require more services than others. Therefore it is important to understand the level of trauma that refugees are carrying with the self. Treatment of trauma and emotional pain is an absolutely important part of the settlement program for refugees, however regretfully this issue could be overlooked at easily. Treat the pain as the first step towards settlment, that is smart and helps the otehr steps to happen much faster.
Poran Poregbal, MA, RSW, RCC

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Happy Norooz

Norooz is the new day that we all are waiting for, a new day that earth awakens and all species start a new cycle of growth. Norooz is the oldest tradition and celebration as it is stemming from spring, which is the beginning of all new starts. In the ancient Persian history, Norooz is considered to be a “winner” as Norooz is a fighter that always wins the battle with the darkness of winter, it is a real source of hope and light.
Norooz is the day that human mind will integrate itself with the freshness of earth, the beauty of nature, and the brightness of daylight.
Over time of human history, Norooz has been there and it has had many enemies, however Norooz is a winner of all time and no one can stop it from happening.
Norooz is beyond tradition or religion or any boundaries, Norooz is about life and growth that naturally is waiting for us all. Norooz is about surviving darkness and challenges and surviving the days that no lights are in the sight.
Norooz is an answer to all our pain and sorrow while it has a component of natural cure for all pain. The cure is to go back to our mother earth and find the real source of hope as Norooz is on our door.
Happy Norooz and happy spring.
Poran Poregbal, MA, RSW, RCC

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Refugees and Human Crisis

Canada is accepting refuges from Syria. This is a great news and while the world is struggling to deal with Syrian refugees, Canada has already started to settle in those who are arriving every day.
It is important to understand that what refugees need is beyond physical settlement. Psychological settlement includes helping the individuals explore the traumas that they have endured. What the global community is dealing with is not a refugee crisis but a human crisis leading to millions of people feeling like they do now in Syria and that region.

As the Saadi Shirazi said in 1291:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.

In my professional view and in the position of having worked with refugees a longer time, I would argue that most of refugees arriving with some or multiple symptomology related to the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or PTSD.

For the professional community, it may be obvious that refugees are a group of individuals who are arriving with many challenges including trauma, loss, grief, and emotional pain. Still it is important to educate both the public and the arriving refugees about the meaning and reason for symptoms that encompass PTSD. I will continue writing about those symptoms soon.
Poran Poregbal, MA, RSW, RCC

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