During my time with Team SRP, I was encouraged to become practically involved with various assigned tasks.
One of the biggest tasks I undertook was researching Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Syrian Refugees. From my background in Psychology, I was able to understand how there is a high prevalence of PTSD among Syrian refugees: some clients may have unresolved underlying mental health issues because of the harsh conditions they had to flee from to find a home in the UK. I also realised that whilst Islam encourages people with PTSD to seek psychological help and emotional support from the community, our British culture focuses more on treating physical wounds over psychological wounds. This therefore shapes the manner in which members of the team communicate with the clients
The research and greater understanding of PTSD among Syrian refugees led me into conducting a role-play interview with a “client with PTSD”. I came across Islamic advice and recommendations for those suffering from PTSD symptoms some of which included recitation of the Qur’an, commitment to the five daily prayers, group therapy sessions through online forums, examples of incidents taken from the lives of various prophets as a point of reflection. I believe that my research would be of benefit to EYST, because the majority of clients are Muslims, so they may be more receptive to advice given from an Islamic perspective.
I was able to do several role-play calls, because I have little experience of talking to professionals and clients, especially through a call. The call with my “client” was difficult, as the information had to be repeated because of their PTSD symptoms. This taught me that it is important to have patience with clients, because they will feel more comfortable communicating when they are assured that someone is there to help them.
I also created a Code of Conduct for Clients. After researching other EYST Codes of Conduct (i.e. for volunteers and employees), I was able to create one tailored towards clients. Topics covered in the Code of Conduct include the role of clients, their responsibilities, compliance with and breach of the rules, health and safety and how to raise a complaint.
After observing the housing application process, I was able to complete a client’s housing application, adding their general background information, and housing information. I was also able to research potential properties for a client to bid on, according to their specific requirements. The housing application process is lengthy, however the experience I gained from it was valuable. Moreover, I researched information relating to various welfare benefits and the differences between them.
Being part of Team SRP requires a lot of composure and patience, and I commend the team for their motivation to overcome barriers and help clients on a daily basis. I am glad I was able to create resources for the team to use and feel immense gratitude for the information I learnt and the experiences I gained.