The last in the 2014/2015 Research in Focus Seminar series focusing on refugee and asylum seeker health was a collaborative event organised in conjunction with the Liverpool Mental and Physical Well-being for People Seeking Asylum and Refugees Group.
The seminar, which covered topics ranging from clinical health services to the representation of asylum seekers and refugees in the media, was opened by LJMU’s Dr Edward Harcourt and chaired by Professor Padam Simkhada of the Centre for Public Health. It provided an opportunity to promote City of Sanctuary within Liverpool as well as highlighting the University’s own recent pledge of support to the movement.
Founded in 2012, City of Sanctuary is a national network, a movement of local groups made up by businesses, community organisations and individuals, all with one thing in common – their belief that sanctuary seekers should be welcomed, and that their contribution to society should be celebrated. Contrary to popular myths, life is often desperately hard for asylum seekers and refugees and the movement seeks to unite those already supporting asylum seekers and refugees, and to provide a simple platform for others to do the same.
In addition to promoting City of Sanctuary, the collaborative event also addressed issues such as the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers, barriers to accessing healthcare, LGBT issues.
Coinciding with Refugee Week, the seminar was well received and attended by the diverse audience of health care providers, third sector organisations, students, researchers and council staff.
Keynote speeches were presented by Dr Angela Obasi, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Dr Rebecca Farrington from the Greater Manchester West Mental Health Trust and the University of Manchester Medical School
Presentations were delivered by Dr Peter MacPherson, University of Liverpool, Mimi Gashi, Sahir House and Jennifer New, University of Liverpool, Seana Roberts from the Liverpool Asylum Seeker and Refugee Partnership, and Councillor Claire Glare.