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Mind-Spring mental health psycho education,
By and for asylumseekers and refugees

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Mind-Spring, in cooperation with refugees and Medical Care, developed a program on mental-health and psycho education. The program is developed to support asylum seekers and refugees and is given in own language and taken original culture into account. Specially educated asylum seekers and refugees run the program together with the GGZ, mental health institutes.
Mind-Spring trains (ex) asylum seekers and refugees as a peer educatior/trainer, who works together with a mental health professional.

The aim of the programme is to learn how to cope with the actual situation and loss of identity. Attention is also paid to coping with psychosocial problems that are a direct or indirect result of events that happened in the past in their country of origin, during flight and afterwards.
Stress, grief, feelings of guilt, isolation from culture, trauma, alcohol and/or drug abuse and the daily problems of life in an asylum seeker centre often trouble refugees. These subjects are addressed in the groups by communicating information on psychological and psychosocial processes that are common among refugees via group discussions with fellow refugees. Relaxation exercises and cognitive techniques aimed at coping with the problems mentioned and exercises directed at rediscovering their own possibilities, strengths and self-empowerment are also addressed.
Autumn 2005 we are develloping a train the trainers program to start parenting support groups for asylum seekers in AZC's and for refugees who seek support to bring up their children in the new situation.

The program Mind-Spring.nl is offered to asylum seekers living in AZC's at the moment in 30 locations in the Netherlands . The program is successfully offered to refugees (people with a license to stay in Holland ) outside centre.
To be able to offer the program we have cooperation with many GGZ institutes in the Netherlands , the Medical Care (GCA), the COA (Central Organ opvang Asielzoekers) , VluchtelingenWerk, Pharos and GGZ Netherlands.

The mind-spring program is also adopted in Belgium and Danmark.

Latest news: 2015
Mind-Spring develloped also a training in parenting-support for asylum seekers; a Mind-Spring Junior, for children in in asyluma seeker centers; and a program in "future orientation" for those who have no legal status in the Netherlands and cannot go in appeal for a status.

The program in the Netherlands is coordinated by I-Psy and supported by a project advice group in which the already mentioned organisations are represented..


2013 Mind-Spring.org is now an independent organisation and foundation. international coordination and methodology devellopment by Paul Sterk; Project supervisor, senior trainer of trainers and methodologist.
Contact: psterk@mind-spring.org or 0031 (0)6 51557474

The daily coordination for groups is done by:
The Mind-Spring.nl team in Netherlands is now:

Sulaiman Shinwary ; project manager and coordinator
Conact adres: Metropolestraat 1-C. 1315 KK Almere. Telefoon 0031 (0)88-3589200

Mind-Spring.eu has a program in Belgium and Danmark as well.




Quote: “Mind-Spring empowers refugees and gives them a stronger sense of identity in their new country” read the full article at:










web builders are: Paul Sterk and Sjoerd Adema