At Bristol Mind, we understand the barriers that refugees and asylum seekers face in accessing talking therapies. Therefore, we are continuing to develop the mental health support we provide. We are excited to announce the expansion of Mind Without Borders. This service will now include free counselling for refugee women in Bristol. This service is set to launch in early 2022.
We caught up with our new refugee counsellor Tokunbo to hear more about her and the new service.
“My professional background lies in midwifery, psychiatric nursing and counselling and I have recently completed a degree in health and social care.”
My Desert Island Items are; Book – Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton, Record – Feeling Good by Nina Simone, Film – The Hobbit, Luxury Item – a piano.
What motivates me in this role is my identification with asylum seekers and refugees. Although I was born in England, my parents took me to Nigeria to live in my formative years. So when I returned to England it was culturally difficult. I struggled to move here and fit in, and I was on my own.
The reason I chose to join Bristol Mind is because I know that with my skills and experience – I can help here and make a difference. I empathize with refugees, hearing about what they have endured and experienced in war.
We must support this community in Bristol. On a humanitarian level – if we have the assets, expertise and we are in a position to help others who are suffering, on a human and ethical level – we must.
It is not easy for an individual to feel alienated, it cancels your experience. The distress of what you have left behind, family, circumstances, children left behind, language, stress, culture. How can they make themselves understood? There are lots of things we can do to help. The therapeutic aspect is very important. It enables people to knit themselves back together in a away, so they can look at their circumstances and see what they can do to move forward beyond the distress and trauma they have endured.”