ABSTRACT

Persons who are refugees may experience mental health concerns, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, due to multiple layers of trauma experienced before, during, and after fleeing their country of origin. Although several health system– and community-based mental health interventions have been found to be effective in improving mental health outcomes among persons who are refugees in the United States, these services are underutilized among refugees. Movement-based and mind body–focused practices, such as yoga, may play an important role as complementary mental health supports for refugees. Data on the effectiveness of these practices in these populations are limited, and further research is needed. However, these practices can still be introduced in a safe way by trained professionals and offered as adjunctive therapeutic approaches to traditional Western psychotherapy options. We offer recommendations for clinical providers working with persons who are refugees and for movement-based facilitators and therapists on how to introduce these practices to resettled refugee populations in the United States.

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