We anticipate a greater need for specialist therapeutic well-being and mental health support for those who are survivors of trauma and abuse. As the lock-down persists it is very likely to trigger PTSD, anxiety and depression for many of our members. Thanks to your generous donations, Migrants Organise will be there to provide the support they need!
As soon as we are able, and it is safe to do so, we will transition back to office based face-face one to one and group activities that will respond to post emergency needs through human contact and support including:
- Casework & Advice – providing specialist support to navigate complex bureaucracy e.g. help with asylum support, immigration, welfare or destitution support;
- Mentoring – matching with volunteers to provide one-to-one emotional and practical support, advice and friendship to help them make connections and integrate;
- Group Activities – sessions open to all our members to build up wellbeing, new skills, confidence and self-esteem e.g. English classes, poetry, craft and yoga.
Many of the people we support are homeless, destitute or live in overcrowded accommodation where it is almost impossible to socially distance from others. Most are already struggling with isolation and ongoing mental health issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress, panic and anxiety which are at risk of becoming worse during lock-down.
When one of our members becomes ill they are terrified to seek medical help because of their insecure and precarious immigration status. But neither do they have family or friends to look after them. Single mothers, often survivors of trafficking and violence, are struggling to cope in very poor housing conditions and cut off from their support networks.
The good news is that Migrants Organise is reaching out to them! We currently support 330 of the most vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in London. By addressing individual needs, both practical and emotional we:
- Alleviate immediate hardship e.g. through shopping vouchers for essential food and toiletries for survival;
- Address loneliness and isolation e.g. through volunteer buddies who keep in touch and ensure they stay safe;
- Improve mental health and well-being; e.g. online group-work such as English classes, arts and fitness activities;
- Ease stress and strengthen family bonding; e.g. packs of books, toys and games to help mothers with young children.
Thiru, a refugee from Sri Lanka, sums up the experience of vulnerable migrants during this time and the vital need for our support:
"It is like there's no oxygen left us to breathe. Some of us are in small crowded accommodation and are not able to go out because house mates have Covid-19. Some of us don't have enough money for basic foods. Every time we hear about deaths it reignites our fears. We are already far away from home and distanced from our family and loved ones. Migrants Organise and the support they give us are our only hope!"