6.3 Access to mental healthcare, rehabilitation services and qualified counselling

STANDARD 30: Ensure access to mental healthcare, rehabilitation services and qualified counselling for unaccompanied children who suffer from psychological difficulties and/or have been victims of any form of abuse, neglect, exploitation, torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, or who have suffered from armed conflicts, by developing and implementing SOPs on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS).

Indicator 30.1: Unaccompanied children in need of mental healthcare, rehabilitation services and/or qualified counselling are provided with such services by the presence of a clinical psychologist in the reception facility or the access to one outside the centre.

  •  Additional remarks: This includes services provided to victims of any form of abuse, neglect, exploitation or children who have suffered from armed conflicts. It also includes services provided to victims of trafficking and (gender-based) violence as well as victims of torture or other forms of psychological and physical violence. Furthermore, services should be provided to children with psychological difficulties due to long waiting times and the uncertainty of the asylum process. The need could be a result of something having happened in the home country, in transit or in the host country.

Indicator 30.2: Qualified medical personnel provide mental healthcare, rehabilitation services and/or qualified counselling.

  • Additional remarks: The personnel should be trained in how to work with the special needs of unaccompanied children.

Good practice with regard to mental healthcare, rehabilitation and counselling services
It is considered good practice to:

✓ consider protective factors, such as social support, contact with family, small number of transfers between different accommodations, living in small-scale housing and leisure time activities to prevent mental illness.