Winter Semester 2015

The transdisciplinary Global Health Student Group at the Charité is this term adressing a global health problem on the local level:

Global Mental Health – Refugees in Berlin

Persistent high flows of refugees to Europe require great efforts by welcoming countries in many aspects. Healthcare, one of the most profound needs of arriving refugees, is currently delivered in a very weak and limited way in the majority of states in Germany. Mental health plays a special role within the field of refugee health, as for example traumatic experiences can occur within the refugees home country or while travelling to a welcoming country. In addition, mental healthcare provision for refugees by welcoming communities is a particularly complex endeavor, which has been largely neglected. The Global Health student group aims to tackle this global public health challenge by understanding the current status in contrast to the need of mental healthcare provision for refugees in Berlin and identifying barriers at a legal, cultural, implementational and finally political level.

In the end of the term the group will split up to work on two forms of output, which equally constitute the goals for our work during this term:

  • Summarizing the sessions outcome into an article to share with the greater public
  • With a final conference and workshop event work out new solutions to improve mental health provision for the local context of Berlin

In order to do so we need many disciplines in our group, because clearly this problem can’t be understood thoroughly by medical students alone, nor by political scientists, anthropologists or psychologists on their own!

Session planning

The first two sessions will provide the necessary background on the broader concepts of global mental health and migration and refugee health before diving into the local context of Berlin.

Internal sessions listed below will be complemented by discussion rounds, in which experts (dates tba – global mental health researchers at Charité (AG Global Mental Health, Transcultural Psychiatry), representative “Bezirksamtmitte – Integrationsbüro”, speaker “Berliner Amtsärzte” …) will discuss questions from the group and share their experiences and insights of relevant fields of work and.

Our work will culminate in the end of the term (16th of January):

Conference with subsequent multi-stakeholder workshops “Psychosocial Care for Refugees in Berlin” (speakers and program will be uploaded soon)

Session outline:

Session 1: Introduction – Global Health and Global Mental Health

Session 2: Expert Discussion – Inequalities in Health – a health economics perspective

Session 3: Migration of Refugees and legal regulations | Mental Health and Flight

Session 4: Expert Discussion – Design Thinking in Global Health

Session 5: Health Care Services for Refugees in Germany and Berlin

Session 6: Expert Discussion – Experiences from Lageso – status quo: inhumane living conditions of refugees in Berlin and barriers to improvement

Session 7: External Event: About the myth of “safe” countries of origin and the tightening of the asylum law – movie screening and panel discussion including Petra Pau, vice president of the German Bundestag

Session 8: A fragmented public health system – Which stakeholders in Berlin contribute in which  manner to mental healthcare of refugees and how is the financing?

Session 9: Studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – experiences and Q&A Session with a former Global Health AG member

Term culmination (16th of January): Conference with subsequent multi-stakeholder workshops “Psychosocial Care for Refugees in Berlin” (speakers and program will be uploaded soon)