The objective of this study was to profile trauma related psychiatric symptoms in a group of refugees not seeking mental health services and to consider the services implications. The study involved research assessments of two groups of Bosnian refugees: those who have not presented for mental health services and those who have. A total of 28 of 41 nonpresenters (70%) met symptom criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. All service presenters (N = 29) met symptom criteria for PTSD diagnosis. The group that did not present for services reported substantial but lower trauma exposure, PTSD symptom severity, and depression symptom severity. They had significant differences on all subscales of the MOS SF-36, indicating better health status. We concluded that those who do not seek services have substantial symptom levels, but their self-concept appears to be less oriented toward illness and help seeking. Innovative access, engagement, and preventive interventions are needed to address those who have symptoms but do not readily seek help for trauma mental health services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health