Crisis, disaster and trauma, Equality, diversity and inclusion, Human Rights

Release time: 2023-06-27 17:29

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Crisis, disaster and trauma, Equality, diversity and inclusion, Human Rights

Compassion in Action

It’s Refugee Week – a time to promote understanding, and a reminder of some key BPS resources

June 2023 marks the 25th Anniversary of Refugee Week, the world’s largest arts & culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

This year has a theme of ‘compassion in action’, with a call to ‘create a shared understanding of compassion to ensure we are extending it widely to all.’

Understanding and empathy

At this time the BPS would like to remind you of the psychological and human rights impact of the government’s Illegal Migration Bill on those seeking asylum in the UK.

With such abrupt change people seeking asylum may face many traumatic challenges during their journeys to the UK, including loss, violence and separation from their families.

This week, and beyond, we encourage the promotion of understanding and showing empathy when discussing the topic of refugees and asylum seekers.

The BPS Human Rights Advisory Group is currently reviewing the Illegal migration bill and updating the BPS guidelines for psychologists working with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK to inform and promote best practice within the psychological field.

Download the current guidelines here.

Guidance from our networks

As a discipline and a profession, psychology has a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent to apply to help improve the lives of those who have fled their countries and are seeking safety.

Some of the BPS’s member networks have created resources to help navigate key issues and help organisations and communities offer the best possible welcome.

For example, our Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) recently produced some guidelines for schools for welcoming and supporting refugee children.

They include guidance in developing a school culture which helps children feel safe and settled, suggested activities to help with both formal and informal learning, and a reminder of the ‘whole school’ benefits of welcoming refugees.

Download the guidelines for schools here.

Another network with expertise in the area is our Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section, who have held special events to inform and educate psychologists working with vulnerable populations.

See this write-up of a conference they held in in London in the wake of the war in Syria and the resulting refugee crisis.