Universität Bielefeld

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Stress, Health and Integration of Young Refugees: Discovering the Interrelations
and Improving Access to Healthcare

Germany hosts many refugees from war-affected countries. The integration of refugees, particularly refugee children from the Middle East, is one of the major social challenges in Germany. Psychological disorders, especially post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from war experiences, are common in refugee children and impair the quality of life and functional integration. The German health system is not prepared for the needs of refugee children. In collaboration with our cooperating partners, Bielefeld University will conduct the YOURHEALTH research project that is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and aims at determining the temporal and causal relationships between stress, health and integration of newly arrived refugee and asylum-seeking children and adolescents. In a multidisciplinary cooperation of developmental psychologists, educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, and public health scientists we want to clarify the psychological predictors and consequences of mental ill-health and physical complaints, understand the barriers to health care access and examine a model of a complementary and stepped-care health care system. The tested model is based on the integration of intercultural therapy assistants. The target group of this joint research project are refugee and asylum-seeking children and youth in Bielefeld, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Hamburg, Braunschweig, Eichstätt and Konstanz.

Partners of the consortium are Prof. Dr. Arnold Lohaus (Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. Heike Eschenbeck (Schwäbisch Gmünd University), Prof. Dr. Oliver Razum (Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. Frank Neuner (Bielefeld University) and Prof. Dr. Claudia Catani (Bielefeld University). The project will run from 2018 until 2022.

The international advisory board of the YOURHEALTH consortium are Prof. Karien Stronks (Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center, Universiteit van Amsterdam), Prof. Mina Fazel (Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University) and Prof. Claus Vögele (Institute for Health and Behaviour, Université de Luxembourg).

The YOURHEALTH project entails three major sub-projects. A longitudinal study investigating the psychosocial causes and consequences of psychological problems, a treatment study testing a model of a complementary stepped-care health care system and a study examining barriers to health care access.


Mental Health of Young Refugees: A Longitudinal Study across a Two-Year Interval


The efficacy of KidNET as a treatment for traumatized refugee minors


Minor refugees‘ access to mental health care services in Germany


News Blog

On the 12th of June, the YOURHEALTH project has “kicked-off”. All the team members of the three research projects YOURGROWTH, YOURTREAT and YOURCARE as well as all the cooperating partners and the international advisory board were invited to Bielefeld University. In contrast to the cloudy and not very welcoming Bielefeld weather outside, our conference room was filled with interesting discussions, a familiar atmosphere and a light scent of coffee throughout the day. [more]

Cooperating partners

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