"lnterpersonal relationships are vital. Without interpersonal bonds neither individual nor species survival would have been possible". (Yalom 2005) "The ‘harvest’ of group work is change/growth" (Yalom 2005) This symposium would venture to look at the relevance of group interventions as building capacity within the individual of coping and resilience in the face of forced displacement and acculturation. The accompanying mental health issues are implicitly recognised. In Yalom’s "The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy" (2005) he speaks of the mechanisms of change within group work: (a) members value deeply acceptance and support they receive from the group (cohesiveness) (b) Members dealing with social isolation may obtain greater benefit from the group (c) The group is an important environment for learning to take place.
Enforced unemployment and inactivity for asylum seekers in direct provision accommodation has resulted in increased levels of mental ill health. This project enabled a pro-active, preventative as well as a therapeutic opportunity for residents, focusing in mental heath and social inclusion. The project was designed to ‘facilitate a structured and safe quiet time and relaxation period and space for male asylum seekers living in direct provision accommodation’. The objectives were to focus on positive mental health skills, building a holistic understanding of health and well-being. A multidisciplinary partnerstrip identified and explored methodologies for a capacity building model including, psycho-educational, peer support and psycho-social approaches. A ten week closed group project has been completed with evaluation.