The people Migrant Help supports are at high risk of mental health problems. As they flee war, persecution or exploitation, their journeys are traumatic and they are faced with overwhelming challenges, often not knowing where to turn, or how to access help and support. 

Recognising and appropriately helping to address mental health issues among people seeking asylum, refugees and survivors of modern slavery poses many challenges because of differences in language and culture, and due to specific stressors associated with migration and resettlement.

We have an opportunity to partner with South Kent Mind on a mental health pilot programme aimed at supporting with tools and resources for ‘coping with life’. This support course will work with men seeking asylum who are accommodated at the Napier barracks in Folkestone. 

The course is based on cognitive behavioural theory principles which engage the participants to better understand the relationship between thoughts, situations, emotions, physical feelings, and actions. Ultimately this helps normalise the psychological and physiological reactions that arise from the stressors people are confronted with and provides better outcomes. It will strongly encourage greater peer support for improved wellbeing. 

This pilot programme will cover topics such as self-esteem, confidence, understanding anxiety, healthy sleep, and personal wellbeing plans. These tools will help increase confidence, wellbeing, and provide a deeper understanding of how to articulate mental health needs, reduce anxiety and help our clients as they start rebuilding their lives.

Good mental health is key - we are seeking support for this pilot programme over the coming 12-month period. Working in partnership with South Kent Mind, we will be closely monitoring the impact and our ambition is to roll this out as a national programme, reaching those with high need of support to cope with their trauma.

With a pledge to support, together we could:


Provide a three-month pilot programme consisting of weekly sessions reaching approximately 60 people. This would help us gain understanding, raise awareness about the mental health continuum, reduce stigma associated with mental illness, promote help-seeking behaviours and emotional wellbeing practices, and suicide prevention work through individual education and outreach events.


Provide a six-month pilot programme consisting of weekly sessions reaching approximately 120 people. This would help us work with clients for longer, have more time to understand impact and improve or reshape the service accordingly.


Provide a twelve-month pilot programme consisting of weekly sessions reaching approximately 240 people. This would help reach more clients, provide time to fully monitor, evaluate, and build a comprehensive programme, with a robust framework for the potential national roll out.

If you share our vision and would like to help us provide essential mental health support for people seeking asylum, refugees and survivors of modern slavery, we would be delighted to hear from you. 

Please contact [email protected].