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Dr Laura Jobson (Monash University)

Purpose

To improve the psychological functioning of adolescent refugees using a low-intensity, low-resource training; MEmory Training for Recovery-Adolescents (METRA).

Specifically, we aim to:

  1.  Investigate the efficacy of METRA in improving psychological symptoms (posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, well-being) in adolescent refugees.
  2. Investigate the feasibility and appropriateness of METRA for refugee adolescents delivered by local NGOs in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) humanitarian contexts.
  3. Examine the mechanisms mediating treatment effects.
  4. Include a cost-analysis of METRA in LMIC humanitarian contexts.

Dr Laura Jobson

Co-Principal Investigator

Adolescent refugees in low and middle-income countries experience concerning levels of psychological distress. Very few of these adolescents receive evidence-based interventions, due to high costs, limited mental health services and a shortage of skilled professionals. We are excited by this project that further develops our MEmory Training for Recovery-Adolescent; a low-intensity intervention.

Expected Outcomes

This project aims to produce METRA, a training programme that is:

  1. Low intensity and can be made widely and freely available. This is important because most evidence-based trauma-focused interventions are complex, high-intensity, require highly-skilled therapists, expensive to deliver, and associated with high drop-outs. Thus, they are difficult to implement in humanitarian contexts.
  2. Transdiagnostsic. We are targeting cognitive processes driving on-going depression and PTSD.
  3. Can be delivered by local staff with very minimal training required.
  4. Has included community input. At each stage of METRA’s development we have included community to ensure high user and provider motivation and satisfaction. On-going community and stakeholder input ensure joint partnership and a long-term focus.

These outputs will contribute to improved mental health outcomes for adolescents affected by humanitarian crises. Families and communities should also benefit as psychological distress in adolescents impacts on parents and families.

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