02 October 2023

Delivering Talking Therapies to refugee women in Kent


How we engaged with a very marginalised community vulnerable to mental ill-health.

This report details our provision of NHS Talking Therapies for adult anxiety disorders and depression in Surrey and Kent. In response to the increasing number of Afghan refugees in Kent, we collaborated with Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council to establish dedicated therapy pathways for female Afghan refugees housed in temporary hotel accommodations. 

Recognizing the psychological impact of displacement and trauma, we implemented tailored support programs, led by culturally aware practitioners, to address language barriers and cultural sensitivities. By offering group therapy sessions within the hotels, conducted in Farsi and incorporating culturally appropriate resources, WithYou successfully engaged 29 women over 6 weeks. Feedback from our clients emphasised the value of these sessions in facilitating open discussions about mental health. Key learnings included the importance of cultural competence among practitioners, direct communication in clients' languages, and support for diverse communities to ensure effective engagement with therapy services.