Afghani Refugees Struggling with PTSD

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Sahana Donepudi

As North Carolina receives a huge influx of Afghani refugees, the state is coming to see how many of these people desperately need mental health services to help cope. While Afghani refugees are rapidly entering the country due to the Taliban taking over the government, Afghani citizens have been forcibly displaced from their homes for decades.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, around six million people have been displaced from their homes over the years. An Afghan refugee who came to the country a little over a year ago says that while she was able to find resources through the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, people around her are still struggling with post traumatic stress disorder from leaving their homes, families, and friends behind. An article from the Human Rights Watch, around half of the Afghan population suffers with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Other refugees say that it is hard to look at the horrific news and it only contributes to their anxiety and pain.

While people are trying to remain positive, refugees acknowledge that many people either refuse or cannot access mental health and other services. Adam Clarke, director of World Relief Durham, says that many refugees may struggle to access the resources they need due to a language and culture barrier. They may also struggle to get health insurance due to them being a marginalized population. Refugee organizations are trying to partner with nonprofits and large organizations in order to help refugees get resources and a source of income.