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Abstract Valerie Spee (2020)

This study aims to improve the Dutch healthcare for refugees in the Netherlands by discovering the most important elements that hinder the help-seeking process for psychosocial problems among Somali refugees in the Netherlands. The study was conducted as qualitative study. First, a case-study with a Somali 13-year old girl and later in-depth interviews with six Somali people living in the Netherlands and one Dutch intercultural health professional. The analysis shows that most Somali people do not experience and define psychosocial problems the way they are known in the Netherlands. According to the interviews, the elements that play part in (not) seeking help are mostly shame to talk about problems, out of fear that it will harm the family name, and a wait-and-see attitude. There seems to be a lot of ambiguity of, and therefore often distrust in, the Dutch mental healthcare system and a great trust in help from the own social network and spiritual healers or religion. The results from this study correspond to a large extent with earlier research, in which shame, the social network around Somali people and religious treatments are important topics. The study highlights the importance to take into account above-mentioned topics, in order to let professional help in the Netherlands meet with the Somali way of dealing with psychosocial problems and, with that, an improve in the Dutch healthcare for Somali refugees.

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