A common symptom and side effect of refugee trauma can be poor appetite. While clients may not identify eating problems themselves, it has been noted that adjustment to diet is a significant factor in both physical and psychological health. In this presentation, Sivaharani explores the importance of diet/nutrition counselling in the context of refugee trauma, drawing on a case study of a 46 year old Muslim Tamil Sri Lankan asylum seeker client with a history of multiple traumas and human rights violations. He managed to flee and arrived in Australia as an asylum seeker.
The client presented with anxiety and PTSD symptoms, which were exacerbated by his intense sense of loss, separation from family, and fear of deportation. In Australia he was diagnosed with hyper cholesterol and diabetes. Sivaharani utilised a Diet/Nutrition Counselling approach which aimed to enhance the client’s psychological well-being and achieve positive therapeutic outcomes.