Refugee Wellness Country Guide: Burma (Myanmar)
This two-page guide is intended for service providers working with resettled refugees from Burma. It contains a timeline, statistics, and background information about the Burma / Myanmar name debate. It provides an overview of long-term political unrest, ethnic discrimination and consistent military violence, and displacement of ethnic minority populations in refugee camps on the border of Burma and Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and China. Tips for resettlement workers and mental health professionals are provided, including recognition of the indirect communication patterns of refugees from Burma, how they name their country and identify with ethnicity or culture, an outline of the seven major ethnic minorities within Burma, and insights on the symptomatic expression of distress through physical symptoms. The guide discusses current healthcare systems in Burma, and describes unique aspects of healthcare in refugee camps. It identifies common diagnoses as schizophrenia, neurotic disorders, alcohol use disorder, and other mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. It examines the importance of the family unit, Burmese religious customs and beliefs, negative connotations surrounding mental health symptoms and accessing care, traditional community support networks, and commonly utilized mental health interventions, including plant based cures.
The copyright for this document is owned by Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services. This resource should not be modified, or reproduced, displayed, or distributed for commercial purposes or financial gain.We have obtained permission from Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services to provide this material.
The English language resource was created or reviewed by a medical professional for quality and accuracy.